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Book Review: “The Robber’s Cave” by Charlotte Maria Tucker.

the-robbers-cave Yet another fine book from the Lamplighter Series of Rare Books. Written in 1887 by Charlotte Maria Tucker under the alias of A.L.O.E. (A Lady of England), The Robber’s Cave is a good read for all ages. It is suspenseful, reflective, and entertaining. Furthermore, Tucker is not afraid to show Roman Catholicism (the religion practiced by the book’s antagonists) as the idol-dependent false religion that it is.

The hills of Calabria, Italy are home to bands of nefarious thieves, but a single light can shine so brilliant in the darkest places. Why would a talented, skilled, and very innocent believer dwell purposefully with the cruelest villains? Perhaps you will learn the answer as you get to know Rafael, the Improvisatore. Ungrateful Horace Cleveland gains the answer to this question under the harshest of circumstances. The unfortunate opportunity is given to young Horace to learn the true value of things lost that he had taken so much for granted.

You can purchase this book at Family Faith Books.

Book review: “Titus: Comrade of the Cross” by Florence Morse Kingsley.

titusThe 1997 Lamplighter book of the year, Titus: Comrade of the Cross, was originally written in 1894 by Florence M. Kingsley.

A fictional work weaving the lives of several people living in and around Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ ministry and crucifixion, this novel brings life to those nameless individuals found in the Gospels. Learn (through the imagination of Kingsley) about the poor blind beggar given sight by the Messiah; read the story about the twelve year-old girl who was raised back to life by the great Physician; and discover who the two thieves on the cross were and how they got there on that fateful Friday.

Although the narration is in modern English, the dialogue between characters is in the style reminiscent of King James English. It causes folks like me who aren’t King James savvy to get bogged down ever so slightly during the dialogue, but not enough to ruin the story. It was a good read, very doctrinally sound, and a very refreshing fictional tale that stands out among the plethora of modern Christian fiction absent of that which glorifies the Lord.

You can purchase this book at Family Faith Books.

In 1894 the publisher of this book rewarded Florence Kingsley with $1,000 for writing a story that would set a child’s heart on fire for Jesus Christ. In six weeks the demand was so great, they printed 200,000 additional copies! The award-winning entry, Titus: A Comrade of the Cross, is provocative, full of suspense and drama. The story of Titus and his crippled brother climaxes at the foot of the cross, where the real hero is proclaimed. The most compelling moment is saved until the very end. It will take your breath away.

Book Review: “Buried in the Snow” by Franz Hoffman.

buried-in-the-snowI recently completed the book Buried in the Snow by Franz Hoffman; part of the Lamplighter series of Christian literature. This is the first one of these books that I’ve read and found it to be really good. Written in 1879, it is a gripping tale that teaches great truths of the Bible and reliance upon God no matter the circumstance and to do it all without murmuring about your present trials.

The first three chapters are hard to get through. Hoffman’s use of sentences as long as a mid-summer’s day as he sets up the story made it hard to read (especially when doing it out loud for family reading time) but chapter four begins the tension and the story really unfolds from that point and becomes much easier to read. I’ve reprinted two separate book descriptions below along with a reader review comparing this book to the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away:

A boy and his grandfather come face to face with their own mortality within a tomb of snow. Reliance upon God is their only option as escape is impossible. But the story does not hinge upon the question of their rescue; what captivates is the response that each has to the circumstances that God has placed them in. When death is a constant companion, how does one view life? The ebb and flow of emotions are captivating as the boy and his grandfather fight off predators and the terror produced by the uncertainties of their snowy grave. I know of no other book that so delicately prepares children to face the death of a loved one than ‘Buried in the Snow.’

Full of twists, turns and unsuspected dangers, this book will cause you to see life from a different perspective. You will be blessed by the gentle wisdom of an old grandfather and the unconditional love of his grandson as they come face to face with one of the most difficult decisions of their lives. From the depths of despair to the pinnacle of blessing, this dramatic encounter will surely elicit a full spectrum of emotional responses.

Reader Review:

Buried in the Snow vs. Cast Away

After I read Buried In the Snow, which I greatly enjoyed, I watched the movie Cast Away starring Tom Hanks. It is a very powerful contrast. Both stories are about individual survival under desperate circumstances but the world view between them is diametrically opposed. In Buried In the Snow, Jacques becomes completely dependent on Jesus. He learns from his trials and is made stronger by the experience. Through his grandfather’s instruction and through his faith, he has the ability to deal with his grandfather’s death and burial, receiving solace in the fact that his grandfather goes knowingly and willingly to a better place. Contrast this to the “god-less” movie Cast Away in which Tom Hanks repeatedly demonstrates the humanist’s view that self is all there is – we only have our personal faculties on which to survive. Hanks never even alludes to a “highter [sic] power.” When the body of a dead pilot washes up on shore, he buries the body, then steps back and you assume he is about to give some type of blessing, but no, he simply brushes the sand from his hands and says “Well, that’s that.” Wow! Life is tough and then you die – that’s that – a worldview absent of God. I had never noticed how intentionally “absent of God” this movie was until I read Buried In the Snow. Insight is the power of well written Christian literature, always confirming that Jesus Christ is the difference between light and dark, hope and despair, truth and falsehood, life and death – just as he told us. Another note about this contrast is that Hanks has to talk to a volleyball to keep his sanity.
Jacque and his grandfather talk to a Saviour.