Friday, January 16, 2015

REVIEW // the scarlet thread

Publisher: Tyndale Fiction
Genre: Christian fiction
Released: 1996

Sierra Madrid. A bold and determined modern woman. Her marriage and family are about to be turned upside down by choices that seem out of her control.

Mary Kathryn McMurray. A young pioneer on the Oregon Trail. Tossed about by tragedy and betrayal, she is filled with anger at being uprooted from her home.

Two women, centuries apart, are joined through a tattered journal as they contend with God, husbands - even themselves - until they fall into the arms of the One who loves them unconditionally.

T H E   G O O D
The one thing I love about Francine Rivers is that she is always so blunt in her writing. She loves to write about the hard and dirty (not speaking sexually) of Christianity and about life. I loved the concept of Sierra getting to read Mary Kathryn's journal at the end of every chapter, and it was so cool to see the parallels of their stories.

I loved Mary Kathryn McMurray's story the most. I loved the idea of her being on the Oregon trail, and I loved getting to watch her grow closer to God.

T H E   B A D
I found myself wanting to pull my hair out at the very beginning with Sierra. I felt that she was so ungrateful towards her husband Alex, and she flat out was annoying. I guess if she wasn't like that from the beginning the story would have never progressed, but I didn't like how every scene she practically said and did the same thing. It got old after the first couple of chapters.

Carolyn and Clanton were a bit forced as well. I didn't connect with them that much (I mean, it was the main character's children... shouldn't I care about them a little?), but it wasn't detrimental to the story for me not to connect, just a bit irritating.

A lot of the scenes seemed to be repeated. Sierra was annoyed with Alex, Sierra vowed to never think of God, Alex did something, Sierra got mad, Sierra had a pity party, and so on and so forth. I had to start dragging myself through the story until Sierra met Dennis and things got a little happier, but then pretty soon the makeup of the scenes were Sierra began praying to God, Alex made her mad, Sierra was angry with Alex, the kids were annoying, then Sierra prayed some more and told God all her struggles with Alex. I know that it's important, but I really didn't want to read practically the same thing every single scene.

Sex & Nudity: Sex was talked about a handful of times (not in a dirty way, but mainly discussing Biblical sex between a man and wife), and sex was implied once or twice between a husband and wife.
Violence & Gore: In a fit of rage over Alex, Sierra slaps her husband across his face, and then proceeds to beat his chest. Mary Kathryn McMurray talks about how Kavanaugh helped her give birth (which is a little gory). Several people die on the Oregon Trail and their deaths are described by Mary Kathryn.
Profanity: Alex often times swears under his breath (no words are ever typed out), and Clanton almost says a few choice words before Sierra covers his mouth.
Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: Alex becomes drunk once or twice. There is drinking implied at various events that Sierra attends, and one of her friends gets drunk at the country club. Mary Kathryn McMurray talks about how her father took up drinking after her mother's death. She also talks about using whiskey to warm up people during the winter and to clean out wounds.
Frightening/Intense Scenes: Some deaths on the Oregon Trail can be intense. Sierra and Alex's fights might be intense towards younger audiences.

Recommended age: 14+

O V E R A L L   S T A R   R A T I N G
4/5 stars

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