Saturday, July 22, 2006

Book Review - 'The Longing Season' by Christine Schaub

“The Longing Season”, by Christine Schaub, is a “must read”, even if you’ve never heard a hymn. This is the story of John Newton, who wrote the most popular hymn of all time, “Amazing Grace”, and his beloved Mary Catlett Newton. Now before you run screaming from visions of a boring biography, I assure you this is anything but.

Christine Schaub has brought John and Mary Newton to life in this captivating novel. Before I read this, I was aware that Newton had been a slave trader, but I had no idea of what a complete reprobate he had been and how little he deserved the fidelity and love of Mary, a courageous woman who was truly ahead of her time. “The Longing Season” focuses on their courtship period when Newton has gone missing after sailing for Africa; and Mary Catlett who holds onto hope for his return without giving up her own personal life. This has to be one of the great redemption and love stories of all time, and Schaub wove it together so well, I could not put it down even though I knew how it ended.

“The Longing Season” is the second book from the “Music of the Heart” series. “Finding Anna”, the story of Horatio Gates Spafford who wrote “It Is Well With My Soul”, is the first book and on my list to read next. I am certain it will be just as fascinating as “The Longing Season”.


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