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A Light to My Path (Refiner's Fire, Book 3) Paperback – October 31, 2004

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Editorial Reviews


"Fans of historical fiction with strong faith themes should find this enjoyable tale much to their liking." -- Faithful Reader

"Lynn Austin has penned another winner. Pick up A Light to My Path today for a satisfying read." -- Road to Romance

"Make no mistake; A LIGHT TO MY PATH is worth reading, especially for readers with an interest in this era." -- Romance Readers Connection

"the sympathetic characters and powerful theme make this book well worth the read." -- Romantic Times

From the Back Cover

"You don't have to go with Missy Claire. She can't make you go with her."

Kitty, a house slave, has always obeyed Missy Claire and followed orders. But when word arrives that the Yankees are coming, Kitty is faced with a decision. WiIl she continue serving Missy Claire and her household? Or will she listen to Grady and embrace this chance for freedom? Even wise Delia says Kitty has to decide for herself--that nobody except the Lord can tell her which way to go.

Kitty has always lived in a world where authority is not questioned. She never has learned to make up her own mind any more than she has learned to read or write.

But now Kitty has a daunting choice: How does she want her story to end?

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprinted edition (November 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556614446
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556614446
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (371 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We're Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on January 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
It can be a common occurrance for people to think that God has deserted them in times of need, or to blame God for their station in life. Lynn Austin's A LIGHT TO MY PATH, the latest of her books about the Antebellum South, examines this while detailing the coming of age of two young slaves, Anna and Grady, who have given up hope that "Massa Jesus" hears their prayers or cares what becomes of them.

Anna's first memory is the day her parents were recaptured after an attempted escape from slavery. Since that day, she has had little faith that God could do anything to help her situation. While she was spared from death or the auction block, Anna's life is, nevertheless, one of biting criticism, harsh servitude, and endless longing. A glimmer of hope for something better comes along when she meets Grady.

Grady hates all white people after experiencing a tortuous auction where he was torn from his mother's care and later a stint as the assistant of a slave trader. Grady's stark reality leads him to believe that all white people are evil and that the only way to progress in life is to exact his revenge upon them someday. Once a ladies' man, Grady is stunned by Anna's beauty and he begins to change his ways. But Anna and Grady come in contact with numerous obstacles, including the Civil War. They must put their trust in God's plan in order to victoriously emerge from the battles.

A LIGHT TO MY PATH is historical Christian fiction at its finest, spanning time periods from Antebellum America into Reconstruction. The story never became dull, nor did it ever read like a sermon.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By on December 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
In A LIGHT TO MY PATH, the stand-alone follow-up to CANDLE IN THE DARKNESS and FIRE IN THE NIGHT in the "Refiner's Fire" series, Lynn Austin weaves themes of forgiveness, racial reconciliation, love, and faith together to create a compelling story of lives changed by God during the Civil War.

Austin switches points of view between two slaves: Anna, or "Kitty" as she is dubbed, a young girl who grows up as a companion to Missy Claire, and Grady, a young light-skinned slave torn from his parents at an early age. Both characters, living in the second half of the 19th century, respond to their slavery differently.

Lacking knowledge of any other way to live, Kitty, who was too young to remember her parents' deaths at the hands of slavetrackers, numbly accepts her mistreatment at the Fuller Plantation in South Carolina as her lot in life, loyal to the mistress who looks at her as no better than an animal. Kitty's desire to be loved is endearing, and her artistic bent adds an interesting component to her personality. The kindling of her anger over her slavery and her desire for freedom comes about only when the ones she loves are threatened.

Her opposite is Grady, a well-developed character who simmers with rage and yearns for freedom throughout the novel. Readers will resonate with Grady's anger as they see the desperate plight of slaves separated from their families, mistreated by slave traders, and sold into grinding work on southern plantations or into New Orleans brothels. It all helps build a believable case for Grady's rage against all white people, which eventually culminates in murder.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. L. Hodges on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a most compelling story of slavery in South Carolina from 1849 through the Civil War. There are two main characters, Grady and Anne, born into slavery on two different plantations and how their lives cross and then interwine. It is a vivid depictions of the treatment and attitudes of the plantation owners toward their "property" and the resulting behavior and attitudes of the slaves to their owners. By following the lives of these two children through to their adulthood, the utter fear, the disgust and the extreme choices, are made very real. The one consoling factor for the slaves is their faith in God. Grady is willing to take chances to gain his freedom but Anne, "Kitty" will grovel before her mistress to retain her position as a house slave. Though Grady marries Anne in the traditional manner for slaves, he refuses to allow Anne to cower before the threats of their mistress or to be treated in a demeaning manner. When Grady has the chance to run away to join the Union Army and gain his freedom, Anne is given a choice. Paralyzed by her fear of the unknown, Anne remains at the plantation believing she will not face hardships or whippings. When threats of her baby being rip way from her, Anne stands up to her mistress and faces the horror of the penalty of her insubordination. The Union Army Troop to which Grady belongs is making a sweep of all plantations to release all the slaves. Grady finds Anne, rescues her and their son, William. Anne understands what Grady had felt all long about the inhumane treatment slaves had to endure and gladly joins her husband on the path to freedom and a path of faith.
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