Sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes have a thirst for adventure and a passion for finding God's calling in their lives. Raised by their intellectual father, who encouraged their scholarship and their faith they experience more freedom than many young ladies of their time and station. But when their father meets a proper and society concerned widow, and with their father's failing health they must fight to pursue their passions.
Their story jumps back to their childhood and youth, and the events that marked Flora and Rebecca's lives, as they seek God's purpose in their lives. We also get a look into the lives of their unconventional servants Soren Petersen and Kate Rafferty, and how they came into the sisters' lives. A story sweeping decades from America to the streets of Paris and the deserts of the Holy Land.
Rebecca is headstrong and intellectual, she is the born leader of the sisters, and is unafraid to stand up for herself and bend the rules sometimes. I admired her quick thinking and compassionate heart, yet how she was also firm in the fact that her sister's calling was not the same as her own. She loves her sister dearly, and trusts God for his purpose in her life. I like how she takes initiative in every situation.
Flora is the follower of the sisters, she is more eager to please, but still knows when to stand up for herself and others when it matters. She has a heart for the less fortunate, most especially the children. I love how she branches out on her own, without Rebecca to pursue her own passions for God's kingdom.
The characters were so well done, and one of my favorites was probably Petersen, he comes from a hard life, but he has a tender heart and loves his brother dearly. He sees Christ in the way that the sisters treat him and Kate, and is inspired by their godly example in his life. Kate is stubborn and has a fighter's will, she enjoys being contrary to Petersen, and her fiery personality is troublesome, and also loveable. Edmund is a wonderful friend and confidant to the sisters, I like how he isn't threatened by the sister's close bond, and works with both of them encouraging them in their work.
Overall, one of my favorite books this year. I love the strong messages of faith and how the sisters weren't just content with their comfortable life, but wanted to use what God had given them to help others and show them His love. They take in Petersen and Kate, showing them grace and God's love. Different from the Christian romances of this genre, this book stands apart in it's powerful message of faith, and strong female protagonists based loosely on real people.
A unforgettable read that I enjoyed every minute of it. I didn't want it to end!
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