Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Though Waters Roar: A Book Review

About The Book:

"Thank goodness you're such a plain child. You'll have to rely on your wits."

So went the words of Grandma Bebe. And for all of my growing-up years, I scoffed at the beauty of my sister and what I saw as her meaningless existence. But my wits hadn't served me well in this instance, for here I was, in jail. And while I could have seen it as carrying on the family tradition (for Grandma Bebe landed in jail for her support of Prohibition), the truth is, my reasons for being here would probably break her heart. 
So how did I end up becoming a criminal? I've been pondering that question all night. Perhaps the best way to search for an answer is to start at the very beginning.•

You can read an excerpt of Though Waters Roar here
About The Author:

Lynn Austin, a former teacher who now writes and speaks full time, has won five Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near Chicago, Illinois. Visit Lynn's Web site at www.lynnaustin.org
Q & A With Lynn Austin:

1.Your novels are known for their strong female characters.Why is that, and is that still
true in Though Waters Roar?

I come from a long line of strong women, so I have plenty of role models to draw from.My
maternal grandmother was one of 6 sisters (no brothers); my mother one of two sisters (no
brothers) and I am one of three sisters (no brothers).Most of the women in my family
wouldn’t have described themselves as strong initially, but their Christian faith and
circumstances in life made them so. I write about this kind of woman with the hope that
my readers, who are mostly women, will also turn to Christ to find the strength they need
for the challenges they face. And yes, Though Waters Roar features four generations of
strong female characters.

2.How did you come up with the initial story idea for this book?

In A Proper Pursuit, I had a minor character who was a suffragette, and as I began
researching the women’s movement for that novel, I discovered that I had the wrong
impression of the origins of the movement. I was surprised to learn that much of the work
was accomplished by ordinary Christian women who wanted to improve society in
response to their strong Christian faith. They wanted to abolish slavery and to improve
living and working conditions for women and children. They worked for better schools,
public libraries and parks in their communities. And they formed the very successful
Women’s Christian Temperance Union to close the saloons that undermined morality in
their towns. But in order to accomplish these faith-based goals the women needed to have a
voice—and a vote—so they eventually joined forces with the suffrage movement. I wanted
to write a book that covered the movement from its earliest roots in order to show how
women lived out their Christian convictions, tackling the serious social issues of their

3.You’ve written several other books featuring four generations of women, including
Eve’s Daughters, Hidden Places, and All She Ever Wanted. Is this a genre you enjoy

Yes, I love to write what I call “family sagas,” showing how the choices one generation
makes affect the next generation.Writing books that cover dozens of years involves a lot of
research, but fortunately I love history! Though Waters Roar spans the time period in
America from the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848 until women finally won the
right to vote in 1920.

My own grandmother was a very devout Christian and a staunch supporter of the
Women’s Christian Temperance Union, signing “The Pledge” to abstain from alcohol as a
young woman in her twenties.When I discovered the strong ties between the WCTU and
the suffrage movement, I decided to feature a grandmother who is fighting in the
temperance movement. From there, it was easy to envision a story with several generations
of women, each working for a “cause” in her era: Abolition, Temperance, Social Justice for
women and children, and Woman Suffrage.

4.What is the underlying theme? Besides entertainment,what’s the take-away value for Though Waters Roar?

My goal for this book was to tell a good story that shows how ordinary women, committed to God and His purposes, can make a difference.We all have hard times in our lives, but they are often God’s way of preparing us for the work He wants us to accomplish if we will offer our lives and talents to Him. It’s summed up by an adage I quote in the book: “Smooth seas do not produce skillful sailors.” I hope to inspire women to do what they can, offering that “cup of cold water” in Christ’s name.

5. Even though this is historical fiction, is the story still relevant to women today?

I think it’s very important for modern women to recognize all of the limitations and barriers that women in previous generations faced, and how hard they had to fight in order to win the freedoms and career choices that we take for granted today. If nothing else, it should convince women to take advantage of the hard-won right to vote! But I also think that many of the issues that I raise in the book are timeless, such as dealing with disappointment in our marriages, raising our children to be unique individuals, and finding God’s plan for our lives.

6.Who do you write for?

I write my stories for women who are looking for the same qualities that I enjoy in a good book. I like to learn
something new whenever I read and to grow in my faith. I want a book that makes me laugh, makes me cry (a little) and makes me think. I write for readers who enjoy a good, long story with characters who become “real” people to them.

My Review:

I have been familiar with Lynn Austin's work for a while now, and so was extremely happy about having the opportunity to review this book for Bethany House. It is a wonderfully written, easy-to-read book that spans four generations of women. This book was a quick read and through Lynn Austin's writing style, I felt immediately pulled into the time period of this book! I felt like I was right there. The descriptions of historical events and lives of the characters are simply vivid and wonderful.

The book covers many topics including, the abolition of slavery, social justice for women and children and women’s suffrage. This book covers so many topics that it is like a mini history lesson in a book.

The one message that came through very clearly in Though Waters roar was that regardless of what we go through, God will be there to help us through, if only we let Him. We need to be willing to do His will, and we will be astounded by what we can accomplish, if we do this! He wants to accomplish so much through us. This book reminds us that we are here on earth for His purpose, that He will reveal His plans for us in His way and in His time. We have to be open to this and be willing to wait.

The relationships and experiences of all the women in this book are real, and could represent many relationships that exist today.  If you enjoy historical fiction, Christian or not, you will enjoy Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin. I highly recommend this book!

BUY IT: You can purchase Though Waters Roar by  Lynn Austin online through Bethany House Publishers, as well as through your local bookseller.

***Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review on this book***

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