THE SCARLET THREAD/Francine Rivers

A woman of the nineties. A young pioneer on the Oregon Trail. Though lifetimes apart, they share a remarkable journey. When Sierra discovers her ancestor’s handcrafted quilt and reads her journal, she finds that their lives are amazingly similar. By following her ancestor’s example, she learns to surrender to God’s sovereignty and unconditional love. (from Goodreads)

My copy of this book came as a gift with As Sure As The Dawn (by the same author) and has been sitting for quite sometime in my shelf. Not because I was not too keen on finishing it but because I just wanted the perfect mood to read it. Judging from reviews I’ve read previously, and because I really liked LOVED Francine River’s Mark of the Lion Trilogy (I gave 5 stars to each of the 3 books), I expected The Scarlet Thread to be just as wonderful. I wanted the perfect mood and the perfect time for it, which I meant that: 1) I should have the luxury of time to finish it in one sitting or two, and 2) I should not be stressed with other things or swamped with work. I did not want to The Scarlet Thread to be just a “filler” for a hectic schedule. Finally I found the chance to read it one long weekend and finished it up in just a day (or was it two?). Anyway, my high expectations were fulfilled as I thoroughly enjoyed the story though not as much as I enjoyed the Mark of the Lion, but still wonderful nonetheless.

The Scarlet Thread is a story about two women separated by time but sharing the same experiences and learning the same lessons together. Sierra is the modern woman who is battling marital problems while Mary Catherine McMurray is Sierra’s ancestor who was forced to make a journey on the Oregon trail. The story about Mary Catherine was set in the 1800s and was told through her journal, the entries of which I had a hard time reading at first especially during the parts where Mary Catherine did not yet know how to write or spell. But as her writing progressed, her spelling also improved as well as her character and relationship to God. By reading Mary Catherine’s journal, Sierra was able to find answers to her problems as well as find comfort that her struggles are the same with her ancestor.

I love that The Scarlet Thread centers on issues about marriage, of the little things that seem harmless at first but would eventually contribute to its destruction such as unresolved conflicts and miscommunication. I learned a lot from this book especially on how to handle marital problems as well as family issues. There are just a few things that I find loose such as the friendship between Sierra and Marcia. I feel that a few emphasis should have been given to their friendship and more development on Marcia’s character. Nonetheless, the story is still great and can create an impact to every receptive reader.

The Scarlet Thread is a book that every Christian will greatly appreciate. It tells about how when we start to mend our relationship with God, our relationships with other people will start to be okay as well. We cannot mend broken relationships on our own because as humans we are always imperfect but when we keep right with God, we eventually develop the character which our fellow men will find different in a restorative way. Now, I do not want to sound preachy here but these are the lessons I picked up while reading this book. I must say though that the redemption/conversion story of Sierra was a bit hurried compared to that of Mary Catherine. But then again, there have been conversion stories in real life that are as swift as Sierra’s. Who can question the work of God, anyway?

All said, Francine Rivers remains to be one of my favorite authors and this is one book I highly recommend to everyone, including non-Christians who want to know more about the Christian God.

4 stars.
24/50 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge.
10/30 Off The Shelf Reading Challenge.

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