Title: Alone Yet Not AloneAlone Yet Not Alone
Author: Tracy Leininger Craven
Pages: 150
Recommended Ages: 10 & up
Star Rating: ★★★

1755. A peaceful settlement. Marauding Indian warriors. Abduction. Devastation… And the providence of God.

The Story.

Barbara and Regina live with the rest of their family nestled deep in the mountains of Pennsylvania. There they tend their farm and toil together to create a new home for themselves in the wilderness. They thank God for the blessings of hearth and harvest, family and the freedom to worship God according to their conscience.

They know that Indians sometimes roam the surrounding woods, but they do not fear – there has been peace between the colonists and Indians for years now. But then, in a devastating turn of events, their settlement is attacked, many are killed, and Barbara and Regina are kidnapped.

Will Barbara and Regina survive in their captivity? And will they learn that though they are alone, they are truly in the hands of all-kind Providence?

Discussion.

Thematically speaking, this book is wonderful. The opening chapters depict a thriving family life, a healthy work ethic, and a strong faith in God. After Barbara and Regina are kidnapped, they learn to trust more deeply in the goodness and protection of God. The theme of His providence and constant presence with his people is thoroughly developed and is a mainstay for the girls as they face the crushing devastation of being separated from their family and, eventually, each other.

Even so, I felt that Alone Yet Not Alone could have been far more compelling had more attention been paid to the development of the story. The writing tone is simplistic and matter of fact which removes much of the underlying drama and emotion. There were so many aspects of the story where, rather than develop the raw emotions – feelings of betrayal, pain, despair, or distress – the author chose to gloss over these human workings and rush straight to the solution (which was, of course, trust in God). I recognize that this story is one which actually took place, so perhaps the author wanted to be careful in not taking literary license, but I thought rather than taking away from the theme of trusting in God, emphasizing and developing the intense emotional struggles of the girls would have made the trust in God even more meaningful.

All of that to say, that as an older reader I would have preferred more detailed character shading, but I’m sure younger readers (ages 10-13) will appreciate the tone.

Conclusion. An enduring story of God’s providence and the majesty of His perfect will.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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