Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Soul's Ransom by Scott Higginbotham

Review by ~Mary

At first glance, Scott Higginbotham's A Soul's Ransom appears to be nothing more than a Christian historical romance. In the first few chapters we are introduced to William, an English knight with a sense of humor, and his betrothed, Elizabeth. The backdrop-on and around August 26, 1346 when the Battle between the English forces and French army was fought at Crecy. And yet, although A Soul's Ransom is rich in battle description, you realize that is not the emphasis. In fact, the love story between William and Elizabeth could hardly be worth mentioning if you decide to read beyond the simplistic story of love and war. When William is captured by the French Army, he is sent to the Count of Abbeville's castle where his life becomes entangled with an awkward peasant girl and Lady Catherine who happens to be on holiday at the time. As improbable as it seems that they would meet, let alone plot an escape together, it is carried out to perfection. And that perfection involves much more than not getting caught. As they begin a new life, the road "home" becomes longer and longer as they individually deal with issues that complicate, yet in the end resolve, their lives. They each experience a ransomed life in a different way. And if you think you have the end figured out, hold onto your seat and don't put the book down until the last page is turned. Higginbotham begins the book at a fast pace and doesn't slow down. In fact, as the pace quickens you find it impossible to set down.

A Soul's Ransom is a unique novel that combines quick wit and humor with love, unusual circumstances, and a beautiful description of what it means to be ransomed. Although the names and certain details are not real, the story could be. It blends Gods perfect will with humanity at its best and worst. The story could happen today, given a few changes, making it timeless and relevant to all,mirroring the very struggles we face, clothed in knights armor, castles, draw bridges and horses. Clothed nicely without being overbearing.

Higginbotham has done his homework in giving historically accurate descriptions. But deeper than that is a writer who seems to know the very heart of God and doesn't mind sharing. He examines how one simple act of kindness can change a life. Higginbotham also touches on the conflict in being spiritual when life is hard. He brings the message of faith and hope so vividly alive that you see it in action. Many times we are told to have hope, or have faith and it's hard to know how. He shows how. And that is another important aspect of his writing. He shows, not tells. You will not only read the words but you will clearly see the story unfolding in your mind. With this kind of clarity, it's easy to laugh or cry because you are emotionally invested in what is happening. It is also easy to be strengthened by the faith of the characters. You relate. And isn't that why we read in the first place?

Scott Higginbotham holds a B.S. in Marketing and an MBA from Northwest Missouri State University; he is currently finishing an MA at Luther Rice Seminary. In the U.S. Navy, he was trained in the nuclear propulsion program and spent roughly nine years fulfilling the duties as a Reactor Operator. He is now employed as an engineer and lives in Georgia. His pursuits include reading and writing; he also maintains a blog.

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