Review – Among the Fair Magnolias

amongfairmagnoliasBook InformationAmong the Fair Magnolias: Four Southern Love Stories

Authors – Dorothy Love, Tamera Alexander, Elizabeth Musser, and Shelley Gray

Publisher – Thomas Nelson (July 2015, $12.99 print, $7.99 digital)

As a native Virginian, I enjoy reading about Southern history as well as reading stories set in the South.  Even though none of the tales in this anthology features my home state, the authors cover a fascinating variety of settings and themes from pre-Civil War South Carolina, through Reconstruction.  While the quality of the stories did vary somewhat, I ended the anthology feeling glad I had read it.

A Love So True by Dorothy Love – Set in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina in 1860, this novella tells the story of Abigail Clayton, daughter of a successful planter with political aspirations. The tale opens as the Claytons prepare to welcome South Carolina society to their summer home for their annual barbeque. Abby anxiously awaits the arrival of Dr. Wade Bennett, the man she loves and longs to marry.

However, her father makes it clear that he intends for her to marry Charles Kittredge, a distant cousin and another successful planter. The marriage to Charles would unite two powerful land holdings and also has the potential to advance Mr. Clayton’s political aims. Abby has no wish to marry Charles, but she feels the call of duty to her father. Continue reading

From My Library: Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross

jesuskeepme I’m not Catholic, but in my parents’ home and in the reformed(Presbyterian) church I attended until I married, I grew up with a keen appreciation for the passing of the seasons and the celebrations of the church year. And this time of year, as we’ve entered the Lenten season, I find myself growing more contemplative. It’s a wintry time of examination but also of anticipation for the Resurrection.

Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross is a book I pull out to read during Lent every year. It’s a fabulous anthology edited by Nancy Guthrie. Just as a side note, I have to say that I have really enjoyed all of Nancy Guthrie‘s work that I’ve read so far. As a teacher, she really helps to point me to God and Christ, and I value that. She’s definitely on my short list of folks I would love to have a chance to hear speaking in person.

This particular book is an anthology of essays and sermons, from a variety of time periods. Authors represented range from Martin Luther, John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards to more modern teachers such as R.C. Sproul, Tim Keller, and J. Ligon Duncan, III. My childhood pastor is even represented here. Continue reading