by Gilbert Morris
Let me start off by saying that this book was intense. It really was. It didn’t start out that way, but it certainly didn’t take very long to get there. We start off by meeting out main character, Quentin Laribee, a med-student with a fine gift for surgery. He has the most nimble fingers many of his colleagues and professors have seen. Quentin lives with his handicapped sister, Hannah, and also has a fiance, Irene. It is Irene who is Quentin’s future- her father owns a lucrative medical practice, which Quentin will step into after marriage. He has a bright future ahead of him, and then he is conscripted into the last fighting days of the Civil War.
He heads off to war, thankful for the strings which were pulled which saw him as a medic. He would be safe from the front lines and be able to do what he does best- save lives. Then one day, the skirmish gets too close and Quentin confusedly finds himself on the front lines with a gun in his hand. In a tragic misunderstanding full of confusion, Quentin shoots and kills a Confederate soldier, just as he is about to surrender. This immediately affects Quentin, and it isn’t long before he is headed back home, full of remorse and sadness and a deep dark depression. Even his faith in God is shattered as he shuts himself off from the world around him.
The accident leaves a long mark on Quentin, and finally, he decides that the only way to heal his wounds would be to see what he can do for the widow of the man he killed. Quentin heads to Arkansas, despite the pleas from his fiancee to stay behind. Once in Arkansas, he meets the family of the killed soldier, and devises a plan to help them keep their farm. What he didn’t devise, nor did he see coming, was his falling in love with the widow of the young soldier.
This story was so intense at times. The agony and the feelings these people were going through literally leaped off the pages. The message of God’s love and grace is also prominent, and unlike other Christian fiction selections, there is no getting around the message of forgiveness and ultimate grace through God. Like I said, very intense. As I finished up the book it really left me with many lingering thoughts of my own that still occupy some of my thought time. It was an excellent book, and definitely worth picking up and reading. If you don’t care for blatant Christian literature, this book is definitely not for you.