Monday, October 27, 2008

From Dark to Dawn by Elizabeth Charles

Last Tuesday evening was the first meeting of our Women's Book Club. There are some women in our church who are interested in reading a book as a group and then meeting to discuss what their thoughts were regarding the book. Our first book for discussion was titled "From Dark to Dawn" originally written by Elizabeth Rundle Charles and originally titled "The Chronicles of the Schoenberg-Cotta Family." "From Dark to Dawn" was edited and revised by James & Stacy McDonald. This book is an historical fiction of a family who became acquainted with Martin Luther in his youth and became friends. Each journal entry is chronicled with each family member's depiction of what it was like to be a Christian in the years preceding and following the German Reformation. The timing of our club's meeting to discuss the book was perfect since yesterday we celebrated the anniversary of The Reformation, as we do each year.

The book was originally published in 1863 and the time line for this historical novel was the 16th century. So the English language in the book, at times, seemed a little "foreign." But this edition provided a glossary in the back of the book, along with a timeline graph of the 15th and 16th centuries. Inside the book jacket it says, "Mrs. Charles masterfully marries historic truth with intriguing fiction in a way that draws the reader into the days of knights, plagues, indulgences, and political upheaval....leads the reader to contemplate the same theological truths that led to Martin Luther's famous posting of the 95 Theses."

I highly recommend this book for those who are interested in church history and would prefer reading about church history that is presented in a more "personal" presentation, even if it is fictional.


RuthieJ said...

Thanks for the recommendation Mary. I'm going to check with the public library on this one.

Earlier this summer I watched the movie "Luther" with Joseph Fiennes. (I'm sure you've seen it.) Having grown up with the Reformation story, it was interesting to see Martin Luther depicted as an actual person and what he had to deal with during his life.

P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, I would also recommend watching a movie called "The Nativity Story" (also from Netflix). It was really good!

Mary C said...

Ruthie, if your library doesn't have From Dark to Dawn, check to see if they carry The Chronicles of the Schoenberg Cotta Family. The one pictured on my post was revised and edited whereas the other title is the "original" unedited edition. I remember seeing the "old" movie (in B/W) called Luther, but would you believe I have not yet seen the newer one? If you enjoyed seeing the movie, you will surely enjoy the book -- it features a lot of personal anguish Luther and his friends experienced in their lives. I'll be sure to check out The Nativity Story - sounds like one I should consider seeing before the Advent season begins.

Shellmo said...

Thank you for an interesting book review - I do like church history so I will put this on my list.

Michele Wassell said...

Very interesting... Thanks for the recommendation.. Enjoyed your blog..

Red said...

I haven't seen either Luther movie yet. And I haven't read more than 2.5 chapters of "From Dark to Dawn"

But I did like it. Will I finish it? Yes, but when? I don't know.

Mary C said...

Shelley, this is historical fiction, but it does depict a lot of historical facts in it, and yet it is fairly easy to read. I hope you get the chance to read it, I think you'll enjoy it.

Thanks, Michelle, for visiting and commenting. I caught a quick glimpse of your blog. You have beautiful photography. And it looks like you are doing very similar work that Leedra from Leedra's Photography is doing. The best of luck to you.

Well, Red, if you haven't seen either movie, we should consider watching one of them some evening when there isn't a hockey game to watch. LOL As for the book I hope you get to finish it before we will start reading the next book. Or don't you plan on doing the next one?

Red said...

Oh, I'll do the next one too, but that doesn't mean I'll finish what I started. I mean, really, how many books am I "reading"?


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