A Hearth in Candlewood by Delia Parr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This delightful book is reminiscent of the Miss Read series and the Mitford books. It is a simple inspiring tale of Widow Emma who runs a Victorian boarding house in the canal town of Candlewood. The story is set in the 1840's and has an interesting collection of visitors and permanent residents who people Emma's life. There is Emma's mother-in-law, who has been with Emma for thirty years, 2 16 year old girls who help about the house, a retired minister and the elderly Aunt Frances. As Emma struggles to make Candlewood a ministry to provide a caring place for guests, she also struggles to bring her own actions in accord with the God she loves.
Some may call this book or the Mitford and Miss Read books to sweet or unearthly, but they detail the daily lives of people who struggle to do the right thing and to hold themselves accountable to God. The struggle Emma has to guard her heart and to treat all the people she encounters with God's love inspires me to do the same. I can't help think how different this book is to the recommendations of modern thinking. We are encouraged to "look out for number one." "if you don't like it, lump it" or "that's just the way I am, baby." It is refreshing to read about people who struggle to do God's will in everything.
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