Friday, January 8, 2010

Against the Tide: The Valor of Margaret Wilson

Set in Scotland, during the 1600’s, Against the Tide: The Valor of Margaret Wilson, written by Hope Irvin Marston, tells the story of a courageous young woman who refused to deny her faith.

The story takes place during the time of religious persecution in Scotland. The government forbade any churches that weren’t Catholic. Those who didn’t follow the Catholic faith were ostracized and many were killed for their rejection of the official church. The Covenanters were such a group. They were Christians.

Margaret Wilson was only a teen when the religious persecution started in Scotland, but she was so grounded and steadfast in her faith, she refused to deny God, even when faced with death. She and her siblings, Agnes and John, were forced to hide out with other Covenanters in order to avoid persecution. Margaret and her sister were eventually captured; Agnes was later released but Margaret was sentenced to death by drowning.

Although Margaret’s parents both believed in God, neither were strong enough to stand up for their faith when questioned. They succumbed to the authority of the governments’ edicts.

What I Like: Like other historical fiction, this story brings this period of history alive through its portrayal of Margaret Wilson and those around her.

What I Dislike: I’m probably being nit-picky, but there were a couple of things I didn’t like about the story. Agnes, Margaret’s younger sister, was apparently a sickly child, prone to tiring easily. This proves to be an important factor later on in the story when they must go into hiding. However, it isn’t even mentioned until the reader is about halfway through the book. Something that important should have been stated earlier on in the text.

Also, when Margaret and her siblings go into hiding, food is left for them in various places so they won’t starve. There is always mention of a “basket of food” being found and brought to their hiding spot. However, there is no mention of the basket ever being returned to be refilled or being used for any other purpose. Their time of hiding was rather lengthy during which many baskets of food were found and consumed. As I read the story, I just couldn’t help wondering: What happened to all those baskets?

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: Young adult.

Publisher Info: P & R Publishing, 2007; ISBN: 1596380616: Paperback: $10.99.

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Special Info: This book is part of P & R Publishing’s Chosen Daughter’s series. According to the publisher, “The Chosen Daughters series highlights the lives of ordinary women who by God’s grace accomplish extraordinary things.” Read our reviews of other books in the series. Visit the author’s website.

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1 comment:

AnnaB said...

The Covenanters were not persecuted by the Catholic Church but by the king. Margaret Wilson died in 1685, when Britain was no longer Catholic. She was killed because she refused to recognize the king as the head of the Church of Scotland.