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The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers
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The Scarlet Thread (1996)

by Francine Rivers

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Fantastic! One of my all time favorite books. This was a re-read...for the third time! ( )
  michellejester | Jun 17, 2017 |
I had high hopes for this book due to having enjoyed The Atonement Child and And the Shofar Blew, however, I was disappointed.

There are two stories which are meant to be running parallel and presumably woven together. But, they don't actually fit with each other and could easily be extracted from the book and told independently. The first story is about a gradually declining marriage leading to an affair and the other is told through the journal of a girl that used to live in the first couple's family home. I lost interest in the second story about halfway through the book so skipped over the remaining journal entries. I have read a number of books with two storylines and they really need to either be properly entwined so the reader has to read both or both as intriguing as each other. These were not.

This book was far too long. I am aware that this is a Rivers trait and actually the books that I have previously enjoyed were also long but held my interest.

The main characters were both selfish particularly the husband. The author is clearly making the point that it takes two to cause problems in a marriage and that blaming each other rather than working towards reconciliation is not the Christian response. I agree with this to a certain degree. However, I feel that she goes too far--the husband uproots his family against the wishes of his wife to pursue his selfish dreams. He forces them into a materially wealthy social group that she isn't ready for and begins spending more and more time at work, he ignores her requests to discuss things, his behaviour just gets worse and worse.....I won't ruin the storyline but I think in this case the author has unfortunately made a case for women to allow themselves to be treated like doormats. AND then to take all of the responsibility for the problems.

The Christian message was also somewhat lost. Some of the characters experience something of a conversion which seems to be about falling in love with Jesus rather than understanding the truth of the Gospel. There is no clear repentance or turning away from sin although the characters do refer to changes due to their belief in God. There is also a section about God being found through Catholicism (as well as Protestantism)--it almost reads as if we can get to God any way we like as long as we are sincere. It is not clear that the only way is through Jesus and His death on the cross.

I didn't read the part about a character suggesting that someone who had died may have been saved without knowing jesus due to being sincere which I read in another review...I would have objected to that as well.

I don't recommend this as it is so long and full of arguing back and forth. I wouldn't describe it as profitable or edifying. In a way it reminded me of the Christian movie Fireproof which I do recommend. But in both I don't think the heart issues will be as easily resolved in real life as they seem to be in fiction. The only good point the book made really was that giving up on a marriage isn't the solution and that all things can be worked through with God's help.

There is no bad language, very limited non-graphic violence and some romantic scenes which are not graphic but may make some uncomfortable. ( )
  sparkleandchico | Jun 2, 2017 |
This is a great Book. I have given it to many people to read. ( )
  ChildofGod | Dec 11, 2015 |
I believe it's always difficult to maintain two separate plotlines throughout a book and somehow link them together. Rivers manages to accomplish this - I had an equal interest in both. She presents a very realistic scenario of two marriages troubled and destructive and manages to bring the story to a close in a believeable way. I've always loved all her books but this one deserves special mention. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
from innae's bookbox; nice double story. In current day, Sierra marries her high school love, and buries herself in raising her family. But she and Alex grow apart, after a move away from her hometown and into high profile Los Angeles. She moves her kids and herself out of the house, after her husband's affair was revealed. On the Oregon train, Sierra's ancestor chronicles her journey with her husband James, dealing with the death of her child, some of the wagon mates, and later her husband. What is to become of these two women and how is the Lord's hand shown in their lives? Will send this one along for the Kairos book table ( )
  nancynova | Jul 29, 2014 |
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"To Sue Habn, Fran Kane, and Donzella Schlager...my traveling companions."
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Sierra Clanton Madrid couldn't stop shaking.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0842342710, Paperback)

This best-selling novel by popular author Francine Rivers is now available in mass paper. When Sierra discovers her young ancestor's handcrafted quilt and reads her journal, she finds that their lives are very similar. By following her ancestor's example, she learns to surrender to God's sovereignty and unconditional love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:20 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When Sierra finds a quilt made by one of her ancestors, she begins to explore the young woman's life and rediscovers her own spirituality.

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