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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review - "Dawn in My Heart" by Ruth Axtell Morren

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

The hero and heroine in this book are both non-Christians at the beginning, but are redeemed by the end and saved by God's grace. I enjoyed this book because it is true to life. It doesn't gloss over the characters' sins--their bad behaviors--their inappropriate thought patterns. We were all in that place at one time or other, and if we ever become so self-righteous that we forget that, I fear we will lose the ability for God to use us in full capacity for His glory. I say this because I've read some "bad" reviews attacking the author for showing who these characters are before they become children of God. To me, the way she has written this book, makes God's love and grace shine even greater!

If you are looking for perfect little characters who rarely do anything wrong, and the only conflict in their stories are simple misunderstandings, then this isn't the book for you. If, however, you are interested in true-to-life characters who make mistakes, who make bad decisions, who go down the wrong path in spite of how God is calling them, then this book is for you. Keep reading, you will see these characters redeemed.

Some Spoilers to Warn About
Before the book begins, the hero has spent time on an island in the Indies with natives where he was exposed to voodoo. He brings back a footman who takes care of him and believes he is cursed. This man is very loyal and tries to heal the hero and fight the curse with old superstitions. The hero has a sister who is a Christian. She isn't frightened by this curse, and she fights it with the Word of God, prayer, and fasting. She teaches them to believe by reading the Bible to them.

In contrast, the heroine comes to the marriage having deceived her husband into believing she is a virgin. This indiscretion happened years ago before the book opens. Her husband is so angry and unforgiving that he sends her away. It isn't until he discovers God that he can find the ability to forgive her. She is tempted by her ex-lover once more, but she overcomes the temptation. She realizes what a fool she's been. She reminded me of Scarlett O'Hara--young, beautiful, an illusion of innocence, bold, determined, but not as wise as she thinks she is.

Called home to Regency London after his brother's death, Tertius Pembroke, Earl of Skylar, must marry quickly and produce an heir. Lady Gillian Edwards seems the ideal bride: young, beautiful and innocent. But Sky is no ideal husband, having returned from the Indies gaunt, ill, and plagued by a darkness that he dare not reveal--even to his betrothed.

Lady Gillian had promised Sky her hand in marriage, but cannot give him her heart--not when she gave it to another man three years ago. Afraid of repudiation, Gillian buries her secret so deep inside herself, no one will ever know--or so she hopes.

Through lies and deceit, their marriage slowly unravels. Then Sky becomes deathly ill, and his newfound faith offers two virtual strangers a second chance of becoming husband and wife.

For more about the author, visit Ruth Axtell Morren's website.