Monday, March 31, 2014

Review: Beauty for Ashes & Amorelle

Grace Livingston Hill is making a comeback! I read (and collected) many of her titles when I first stumbled upon Faith Fiction. I enjoyed the sweet romances and honest messages. As more Christian authors came into the reading scene, I set aside GLH for other stories. Finding Barbour's new editions of old classics was surprising and refreshing. I recently enjoyed Beauty for Ashes and Amorelle.


Beauty for AshesBeauty for Ashes by Grace Livingston Hill

I recall the stories, but not the details when I reread these stories. I distinctly remember returning Beauty for Ashes to the library and thinking, "This is one of my favorite books." I can't recall the original why, but I still think it is an outstanding novel.

Gloria Sutherland's world turned upside down in one moment - her fiance dead in the arms of another. How does one move on from emptiness? Gloria and her father take a trip and end up at the old family homestead in the country. Gloria opts to stay, but doesn't know how she will overcome the boredom and emptiness that lies ahead. Unexpectedly, a neighbor's young son arrives and befriends Gloria. He offers a new look at life and a lifestyle of hope and joy.



Amorelle by Grace Livingston Hill

Amorelle needs to make a new start. Her father's sickness takes him away and she needs to move from the church parsonage. She goes to her uncle's home faraway and adjusts to a new lifestyle with her step-aunt, step-cousin, and uncle. A young man from her cousin's crowd soon becomes enamored with Amorelle because of her different ways from the other girls. Amorelle agrees with her new relationship, until circumstances draw her away from her uncle's household and fiance.


Each of the novels take place around the 1930's, but the messages are true to today's audiences. In both novels, Gloria and Amorelle are searching for answers and looking for a place to call home. After so much upheaval, they want a direction for their life.

Gloria's worldview is slowly changed by the neighbors who befriend her. They show her the difference between men of the world and men of God. I was impressed with the education of Murray MacRae. In addition to his business classes, he also took theological courses in college because he thought all Christians should understand their Bibles. I agree that it is important, too. Murray and his friend invited Gloria (and later her sister) into their lives and never forced their faith on them. They shared their lives and answered questions about their lifestyles and beliefs.

Amorelle's adventure went from small town girl to woman of the world very quickly. After loosing family who loved and cared for her, she found love in an unexpected corner. Love can be wonderful, hurtful, selfish, and giving. It comes down to the root or base of their love. Gathering advise from trusted friends can be very beneficial. Returning to God's Word will also open the heart to understanding love.

Reviewed from a NetGalley copies. Thank you, Barbour Publishing, Inc.!

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