Friday, February 8, 2013

Renee of France, a Biography.

 As a homeschooling family, we have a favorite way to learn that is a great delight. Many Homeschooling families share this same delight. It is called reading aloud. First Mom reads aloud, then Dad when he comes home. When the children grow old enough they begin reading aloud to their siblings and parents, which is wonderful because then the story can continue as Mom makes lunch and dinner. As all homeschooling read-aloud families discover, the best way to learn history is in Living Books. Simonetta Carr knows this, and that is why she writes this volume of the Bitesize Biographies series.

"Our perception of a time in history tends to be rigid and simplistic", she explains, and when it comes to a complex time like the Reformation it can be extremely hard to understand from a history text book. That text can be the spine, but meat is needed.
"Perhaps it might be easier to grasp if we try to experience it through the struggles, desires, perplexities, convictions, and quests of someone who lived though it," suggests Simonetta, "In this case, a vocal and inquisitive woman — Renée of France." Having never heard of Renee of France I was excited to receive a free copy of her biography from the author through Cross Focused Reviews.

Renee of France was an informative and fascinating book that kept my attention throughout it.
I found Renee of France to be a personal and memorable way to learn about a historical figure and history.
 The personal story of Renee provided facts and information about the Reformation era as well, definitely a good read for girls who want to read about Christian heroines.
   Renee's story was sad, she struggled with the same temptations Christians face today.  She could remain true to the Truth in the face of persecution or confirm to the demands of the Catholic Church and experience"freedom."
I could understand Renee's struggles and failures and yet each time she compromised she would return in some way to and courageously stand for the truth.
At the end of her life her uncompromising, faithful profession of faith in her written will was her strongest testimony.
The jewels of the book were in the fine writing and retelling of Renee's story, and in the last chapter: a Biblical look at the issues and questions that Renee faced. Simonetta Carr helped to answer questions such as "Does an outward profession of faith really matter if I am right with God on the inside?" the same questions that the answers given to Renee shaped her choices and changed her life.
   One thing mentioned in this book would make me wary of giving it as a read alone book to a young child, the author writes that the were rumors that Renee's husband was unfaithful to her, this would be a better subject to deal with in a family talk about Biblical morals.


  1. I love history, particularly biographies! Thank you for the review!

  2. Faith,

    Thanks for contributing to the Bitesize Biographies - Renee of France blog tour. I'm glad to read in your reivew that you too read aloud in your home. ;-) Simonetta's book presents a great opportunity for readers to learn about the reformation from a totally new perspective.

    I also wanted to comment on your last point about concerns related to giving this book to younger children as a "read alone" book. I'm glad you bring that up, so parents who want to read this book to their children are aware. One thing to keep in mind is that unlike Simonetta's Christian Biographies for Young Readers series from Reformation Heritage Books, this book is targeted at an adult audience.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reviews

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  4. Hi Faith, thank you for the review. I have tried to announce that this book is not for children, but I think many people assumed it was because I normally write children's biographies. The last chapter is my favorite too! Thank you for taking the time to write this. May God continue to bless you and your family!

    1. Thank you to both of you... I loved Renee's story!