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on March 21, 2001
This is a modern day romance between Sierra and Alex inter-twined with the story of Sierra's ancestor, Mary Katherine, and her journey in a covered wagon heading first to Oregon and ending up in California. Sierra and Alex's marriage is put to the test when Alex accepts a new job in Los Angeles, forcing Sierra to leave behind her home and family in her beloved small town. She is thrust into a fast paced world where she does not want to belong. She strikes out in anger and disappointment. Her fears and insecurities chip away at her marriage to Alex until it reaches the breaking point. Sierra is left pondering her future, while finding solace in the journal of Mary Katherine, who generations before struggled with many of the same fears and issues.
Mary Katherine's family is destroyed upon the death of her mother, her brother's betrayal and her father's inability to function after his wife's death. Mary Katherine throws caution to the wind and marries James. They struggle and work hard to create a life farming. When it is taken away, James packs up their belongings and children and they head west to Oregon, the promised land. Mary Katherine longs for home but follows her husband. What follows is a tale of hardship, love, and the will to survive.
As Sierra's life reaches a turning point she turns to God, through His love she begins mending her life. Only God knows if it will include Alex. I loved this book and recommend it to anyone. We all struggle with fears when we are pushed outside our comfort zone. With God's help, we will find peace and understanding. Check and see what the results are from Sierra's test of fire...
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on August 17, 2000
After reading some Christian fiction that seemed overly "preachy," I have to admit being sceptical before picking up this book. However, this book was delightful! It was weighty, meaning the author did not shrink from exploring the heavier issues of infidelity, sex, personal responsiblity, the choices we make. The relationship between Sierra and Alex was enlightening, with all its complexities and nuances, and mostly, its human-ness. This is excellent reading as nothing is "glossed over" and there are no easy answers as we watch Sierra and her husband grapple with real-world issues in their marriage. I would highly recommend this book, as it will bring up important questions in your own life to think about. I can't wait to read more of Francine Rivers.
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on April 6, 2003
This is my fourth book by Francine Rivers and as usual, it was not what I expected. I really enjoyed this story, though I thought that the journal entries would be more intertwined with the action in the present, I really enjoyed them. I did feel that the husband got off a little easy and perhaps didn't grow as much as he could have, but it was true to his personality. For him, he'd gone a long way. I would have liked to know more about some of the ladies and the club and what happened to them and if they were impacted by the main character's growing faith. All in all, it was an engaging read and kept me thinking long afterwards. That is what I love about Mrs. Rivers' books--that they draw me to pray and think.
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on November 11, 2004
This is a multi-layered book which focuses on two women searching for Christ in their lives. The main story centers on Sierra Madrid, a wife and mother of two children whose husband receives a job offer in a different city. She clings to her childhood home and early marriage memories instead of embracing what the future may hold. Through reading the journal of an ancestor crossing the Oregon trail, she learns to let go of her expectations and rely on faith. It's a tender and (at times) heart-wrenching look into the lives of a family and the choices they make. Francine Rivers' books are always thought-provoking, truthful and linger even after the book has long since been finished.
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on November 14, 2000
This is perhaps the most simple of Rivers' books so far. THE SCARLET THREAD follows a woman in a disintigrating marriage who discovers the diary of one of her ancestors who came out west in a covered wagon. The readings of the diary parallel her life in many ways and we see, through duel unfolding plots, how God works on the hearts of the stubborn and moves in their situation as they allow Him to. It's a simple read, but a good one, as once again Rivers pens another strong lead character in a life circumstance that is quite easy (perhaps, sadly, too easy) to relate to. Four Stars.
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on May 15, 2006
The first book that I read by this author was Voice in the Wind. I read the whole series. I also really enjoyed The Last Sin Eater. But I didn't find this book to be as good as those, mostly because I couldn't connect with the main character (Sierra). She was so selfish it was hard to see her being the devoted mother that she was portrayed as. Then she finds God (as all main characters do in Francine Rivers books so I am not giving anything away here) and does a complete 180 becoming this unbelievably selfless person that I still couldn't relate to.

I did really like the "story within story" that followed Mary Katherine McMurrays journey. If the whole book was about her, it would have been much better.
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on August 7, 1999
I read this book for the first time a few years ago, and need to come back to it every now and them to reread it. I have to say that in all the years since I read it, I've never quite managed to forgive Alex for making their family move. However, after that first decision was made, all of the characters had bad decisions that they made that they could have reconsidered. I think I liked it because it had real problems, and was realistic; no villains, no perfect saints, just ordinary human beings trying (and sometimes failing miserably) to get along and care about each other. It was also moving to see how truly aiming to live a better life (as Sierra did) could truly change circumstances even when they had gone so far awry. I also realized again that although others may make bad decisions, we are only responsible for our own, but we are thoroughly responsible for those. Someone we love may hurt us greatly, but we can still choose our reaction to them. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on December 8, 2005
This book is really great. I picked it up after I read the Mark of the Lion series. I enjoyed them so much that I hungered for more. While this doesn't have the historical fiction I love so much, it does have a powerful message. Many people now a days don't realize what the bonds of marriage really mean. This is a smack in the face. I'm just 17, and of course I have never been married but I still connected with Sierra (the main character) in her struggle with what was right and what was easy. I won't tell you how it ends because I absolutly despise spoilers, but I will tell you this is a great read, written by a talented author with a powerful message. As an aspiring author myself, I can only hope that I will be as great an author as Francine Rivers.
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on November 22, 2000
This book reached out and grabbed me from the first page on! Francine Rivers' talented pen, once again surprises and amazes me with her insight into the very "Real" issues we all face everyday. The story of Sierra and Alex put me through such a range of emotions, but was able to line them all up according to God's word. It's a story with a stong message for anyone contemplating divorce. It challenges the reader to examine their own heart and not take the easy way out (divorce). This book delivers just the sort of "Tough Love" message we desparately need to hear in this day and age of "Fast Food" mentality. Bravo Francine!!!!
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on June 6, 1999
Francine Rivers is nothing less than a master of her craft. I read 'The Scarlett Thread' in one day and loved every minute of it. Sierra and Alejandro are both very real, very loveable (or hateable as the case may be!) characters. After reading it for the first time, I bought it and have read it at least 5 times since. I strongly recomend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about real-life love, heartache, and day-to-day living in the midst of everything. Sierra, especially, captured my heart. The courage displayed through her character and the realness of emotion is absolutely incredible! I almost feel as though she is real. A must read!!!
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