The Ruby Ring just left me stunned by the power of its spiritual theme, the poignancy of the human stories, and the personality of the many characters.
This is one of those books that you see in full color as you read.
Do not dismiss this novel because it comes from a smaller publisher.
Instead, read this book and delight in the smoothly flowing plot and the good descriptions.
This is not a dry, text book. Instead, you absorb the facts and events through story.
I hate to compare authors, because each one has a different gift and each one has a unique story to tell, but The Ruby Ring reminds me of a Lynn Austin book.
The grand scope, the fast-moving yet thorough plot, the unfolding relationships between characters.
Owen is a young man on fire for God who is called home from his dream of the priesthood to a broken family where he must fill the role of his newly dead brother.
The bitterness he feels as he chafes at the idea of being a merchant for life, and being sucked into his father's vortex of immorality, is drowned by a greater purpose.
Owen had been considering the writings of a man named Luther for a long time, and he was a friend of a man named William Tyndale. He had heard their "heresies" and listened to their wild ideas.
Suddenly the pieces have been Providentially put together.
The frowned upon Latin New Testament he had been studying was used by God to open his eyes, and he can see the awesomeness of redemption in Christ. The words found in pure Sola Scriptura are nourishing his spirit, and he understands why the Bible in English would bring souls to God.
He also is coming to see why men like Luther and Tyndale would risk all, and give all, to get God's Word into everyone's hands.
As the beloved pastor Alistair Begg said about the Bible, "People have bled and died over this book."
Yes they have. Each copy of the Bible we have access to today is here because the hand of God has raised up an army through the ages, each soldier in it willing to strive and die to preserve the Word.
In 1525, Owen has to decide which call he will answer. Will he go down on his knee and pledge complete obedience to the church and a celibate life, or will he work to spread the Scripture and accept the love of a good woman?
The woman is Jane Horne, who is really a girl at the start of this book.
The fact that I was able to see into Jane's heart as I read helped cement this story in my mind.
I loved being part of her journey.
The Ruby Ring brings the characters and their struggles and their time to life. That means that as I read, there were times I wanted to cry. There were times my heart was thumping as I read about these simple men and women just trying to stay anonymous and alive as long as God wanted them on this earth, yet knowing all the while that He might choose to take them home through martyrdom.
Thank you Bookcrash for my copy!