Monday, May 20, 2019

Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love -- my REVIEW

We love to read in our household. All of the kids plus mom and dad are big readers (well, dad just discovered his enjoyment in reading about ten years ago).  As such, new books are always welcome here!  This month we were given the opportunity to read and review the book Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love, by Claire Williams, which is available through Christian Focus Publications. 

I was somewhat familiar with Christian Focus Publications as my children had read some book sets that were published through them (10 Girls who Changed the World and 10 Boys who Changed the World.)  

The Elizabeth Prentiss book is in the Trail Blazers series, which contains over fifty biographies of Christians throughout history.  My youngest daughter (14 years old) was also interested in reading this book, as she enjoys biographies as well.

You might not be familiar with the name Elizabeth Prentiss, but I'd guess you may have heard (or sung!) a hymn which she wrote, "More Love to Thee."  

This book touches upon points in Mrs. Prentiss' life--some early childhood as well as growing up and adult/parenting years.  The focus seems to be on sad events which occurred in her life. Mrs. Prentiss, born in Maine, was a skilled author and a strong believer in God and his sovereignty.  You can get an idea of many events in her life by reading this book.

I read the book in its entirety; my daughter read part of it--and then put it down because she did not care for it.  From my point of view, the book is very choppy, jumping from time to time, highlighting some large events as well as some seemingly unnotable events, oftentimes not wrapping up the story or vignette before jumping into another. 

Also very distracting to me was the presence of grammatical errors within the text. Had the story been more gripping, I may have more easily overlooked these, but they jumped out at me and added to my unease in reading. 


I think one concept which the author wishes to highlight is Mrs. Prentiss' trust in God throughout hard life circumstances. I think this theme is definitely something that we (and our children) living in the 21st century should hear more about...however, the book makes it seem almost flippant, like she had a huge tragedy but was okay with it because of her trust in God. Not a lot of struggle or sadness is shown (though I'm guessing that she did struggle and probably had to mindfully decide to trust God through it), and I think that makes it harder for people to identify with her and harder to want to emulate that.

Mrs. Prentiss was an author, she wrote the song referred to earlier, "More Love to Thee," as well as other stories and books, many of which were emotional and spiritual helps to her readers. 

The book we received for review, Elizabeth Prentiss, has a timeline in the back, for an overview of events in her life; there is also a section of "Thinking Further Topics" which include an idea followed by a challenge. These could be utilized to guide discussion with the children you are reading the book aloud to or with those who read it themselves; if you are reading it solo, you could also use this section to highlight different concepts that you could think more about.

Although I would not recommend this book, you may find others who have different opinions than I do! To read more reviews of Elizabeth Prentiss (as well as other books from Christian Focus, including Big Bible Science, God is Better than Princesses, and God is Better than Trucks, please click on the link below!

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