This is a series of six books that I'm pretty sure were gifted to me at Christmas one year. Either way, I devoured them. It was my first exposure to Biblical historical fiction, and I've loved that genre ever since. With a primary fictional character who records "first hand" events surrounding Biblical women, these captured my imagination. I still loan them out to preteens at church. (Only the first of six is pictured.)
The Bluebird and the Sparrow by Janette Oke
I know I've mentioned this one before. I think the main reason it stood out to me is because it was about the contention between two sisters. Well ... the contention the older sister (that would be me) always held against her seemingly perfect younger sister. Seeing how bitter that made the main character and how hard it was for her to actually ever love left an impact on me. I was determined not to be that sister ;)
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
I promise I don't stick this book on every list of mine just for the fun of it. Since the first time I read this was at a point in my life when I could relate to young Polly finding confidence in who she was, that left an impact on me. She was a role model of sorts. Now I can relate just as much to the older Polly and that is unusual in a book, I think. :)
The Tinker's Daughter by Wendy Lawton
Victoria Minks mentioned this in her Very Awesome Vlog Challenge #5, and it reminded me that it was one I couldn't get out of my head. It's about Mary Bunyan, the blind daughter of John Bunyan. She, too, deals with bitterness with the burdens she has to take on with her father's imprisonment. She repeats the Scripture "I can do all things" to herself incessantly to keep going. After the climax of the book, she finally begins to recite the entire verse. "...through Christ who strengthens me." I can still try to do things on my own, and that was a good reminder that a huge attitude adjustment and greater happiness can come from including Christ.
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Are you seeing a theme here? ;) I knew who John Bunyan was when I read The Tinker's Daughter, but I'm not sure my dad had read us Pilgrim's Progress aloud yet. I remember trying to unpack all the analogies and liking how the character's names described them. It really broadened my thinking about the Christian walk.
There's one more that comes to mind all the time, but I can't remember the title or character names for the life of me. I know it was about a young girl (she's on the cover--dark hair in a prison cell?) who was imprisoned for her beliefs, I think. I want to say it happened in the Philippines? Anyway. I remember another woman birthed a baby in the prison cell and the baby girl didn't live ... and all the time the main young woman kept true to God. And that stuck with me, because I never liked the idea of having to suffer for my faith as a kid. ;)
I'm sure there are others that have influenced me since, but all of these books I read before I was a teenager. I think that's part of the reason they were able to influence me so much. What books have left an impact on your life?
Thanks for sticking around for this entire series! I hope you all enjoyed it :) I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I should blog about next.