Thursday, October 26, 2006

Finding Anna a Real Treat-no Tricks

I’ve loved reading since I was pronounced “slow” and “unable to comprehend” in 6th grade. My mom took the time with me in the evenings and helped me through extra homework that helped me learn to pick up my reading pace and finally, comprehend. Since then, I’ve loved to read. And because I read a lot, it takes a lot to impress me. It’s hard to find a book that I can’t wait to get back to once my daily chores are done. Few books remain in my mind as excellent.

So when I proclaim that Christine Schaub’s book “Finding Anna” is a treasure, you can take that to the bank. It is a non-fiction account written as a novel. It begins while the great Chicago fire is burning down most of the city in 1871. The story centers on Horatio Gates Spafford. He is a wealthy business man who loses his business but keeps his family thanks to the fire. He sets out to rebuild his business and in the process jeopardizes his family. Deciding to take a year off work and travel Europe with the family, he places his family on board a ship and plans to meet up with them in a couple weeks after tying up business related knots in Chicago.

It is the events over the following weeks that lead him to write “It is well with my Soul”. The book takes you on the journey of the fire, the rebuilding, the fascinating people {including a famous “Moody”) and finally to the family voyage.

I had to remind myself that this was non-fiction-it was written to captivate you and not let go from the beginning. I cried tears of joy, tears of sadness, and tears for complacency in my own life. I was sad when the book ended. I could have read about these characters and events forever. It is the best 316 pages you’ll ever read.

I will never sing the song without a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes for the story behind the song. It is the first in a series called “Music of the Heart” in which the story behind the writing of famous hymns is written in novel form. This promises to be a good series.

Get the book, read it, and if you like it, let me know.