Monday, August 20, 2012

The Face of Heaven Review


Title:  The Face of Heaven
Author:  Murray Pura
Pages:  352
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Harvest House
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988
                I have heard that if we don’t remember history, regardless of what era, we are bound to make the same mistakes.  Whether this is true or not, I believe that knowing our history makes us aware of where America’s roots began, where our nation is today, and the cost that was paid in blood by many.  My favorite time to study, read, and learn about is the Civil War so as to see how God worked in lives of real people and to see the blessings we enjoy today because of the sacrifice they made.
                Mr. Pura wrote a wonderful work of fiction based on his research into the lives of real people who lived and died during the Civil War.  The main character is an Amish woman named Lyndel, who has a heart to care for those in need.  One morning she is working at her chores when she meets two runaway slaves hiding in her barn.  That encounter changes her life forever.
                Nathaniel lives in the same village as Lyndel; he has been her brother’s best friend for years.  Now, as he has grown older, he views Lyndel as a woman and decides to court her if she is agreeable.  Burning in his heart is the desire to bring freedom to slaves, but the Amish community forbids bearing arms for any reason.  If Nathaniel chooses to go and enlist, his life isn’t only in danger; he knows he could be excommunicated.
                Through the war tension builds between the parents of Lyndel and Nathaniel, especially when Lyndel is given a chance to return to the community, but refuses to give up her nursing.  Lyndel knows that if the wounded are tended to shortly after battle many more will live long enough to get to the hospital and having a higher chance of survival.  Nathaniel is advancing in the ranks through various battles and is saved from injury until Gettysburg.
                Near the end of the Civil War much death and destruction has been witnessed.  In spite of not having a community to return to and the war still being waged, Nathaniel and Lyndel are married.  While Lyndel knows the letters she writes may not be read because of being excommunicated, she writes her family to let them know of her experiences and her love for them.
                Will the Amish community ever accept the return of those who left to go to war, even if it was only to help take care of the wounded?  What interaction has Lyndel had with Abraham Lincoln?  Oh my, there is so much more to this wonderful work of fiction that I dare not ruin it by telling you more than I have already.  It is simply well-written fiction.  I felt as if I was on the battlefields seeing what the characters were seeing.  There is forgiveness, compassion, mercy, healing, and more in this novel.  Above all, the Lord’s name and His Word are liberally sprinkled throughout.  I couldn’t help but thoroughly enjoy this story.  I believe you will too, so grab the book and enjoy!
My rating is 5 stars.
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