Although one reviewer on Amazon.com called this book pabulum, I say pabulum is a good and necessary source of nutrients for folks at certain ages and stages. Approaching a second run at childhood, I welcome an opportunity to reacquaint myself with characters, their times, and setting, and their conduct — descriptions that have engaged so many readers for so long.
Its author, Stephanie Woolsey, connects basic living truths in good literature to the Truth by which Christians live. It may displease some readers, but it pleases me for a couple of reasons:
- The topics in the Table of Contents — maybe 100 in all – are the hot buttons with which we struggle, in and out of the church, such as:
- Evaluating Your Focus
- Stirring Up Trouble
- Developing Self-Control
- Letting Go of Worry
- Justifying Compromise
- The Art of Good Timing
- An Honorable Legacy
- The compiler first allows the reader a refreshing reminder of Jane Austen’s words, showing character matters; so do good manners, and healthy thoughts. Then, she offers an easily digestible commentary on the scene or characters so beloved by Miss Austen’s readers. Ms. Woolsey finally anchors her view to a line from Scripture.
The volume may be as unfussy as a dish of pabulum. For those of us those who might like an easy way to digest harsh reminders of how silly we can be, and how noble only a few are, though, this volume is a good tonic.
Christians who write will enjoy seeing how Jane Austen’s characters and stories edify and entertain without preachy prose. In Ms. Woolsey’s words: Jane did her readers a great service when she used the gift that God gave her to touch the world with her writing and wisdom. May each of us do the same with our own talents.