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Though Waters Roar Paperback – October 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Austin can't seem to write a bad novel, and this one is no exception. She is winner of five Christy Awards and numerous accolades for her novels, one of which, Hidden Places, was made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Her newest follows her typical trajectory of fine writing, an engaging story and interesting history. Harriet Sherwood longs to follow in her grandmother's footsteps as a champion for social justice, but Harriet didn't plan on ending up incarcerated. She spends her jail time recalling the histories of her great-grandmother Hannah, Grandma Bebe and her mother, Lucy, each of whom faced struggles and spiritual questions as they found ways to fight: Hannah participated in the Underground Railroad, Bebe fought demon rum, and Lucy fought for a woman's right to vote. Austin weaves their stories through Harriet's memories, creating well-honed characters before finally bringing Harriet to a place of understanding. This is an entertaining and engaging faith-based tale sure to hit bestseller lists and the awards circuit. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


This outstanding novel by an amazingly talented author has romance, intrigue, family secrets, tears and laughter. It's a must-read far anyone who likes the fight for justice. --Romantic Times Book Reviews, October 2009 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 430 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; Reprinted edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780764204968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764204968
  • ASIN: 0764204963
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,194 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

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Shelly Kelly on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
As twenty-year old Harriet Sherwood sits in jail, she ponders the irony that she has been arrested for transporting liquor at the advent of Prohibition, the very cause her grandmother has advocated for more than forty years.

Lynn Austin skillfully weaves a multi-generational tale set between 1848-1920 introducing us to Hannah, Beatrice, Lucy & Harriet, their choices and the resulting challenges facing them throughout their lives. Set amidst the national themes of Anti-slavery, Civil War, the Temperance movement, and finally Women's Suffrage, the attitudes and expectations of men toward women may surprise those unstudied in America's history. Each woman's attitude and reaction toward their situation is compelling and varied.

The book is particularly powerful in its faith message of turning to and trusting in God during desperate times of trial. When Beatrice leaves her husband, her mother firmly counsels her to return to her husband and fight for him through prayer for God to help her husband overcome his weakness. That their bond was a vow made before God for better and worse, and that times of trial do not mean quitting and giving up. In today's casualness of marriage and vows, Lynn Austin's characters demonstrate to the modern woman how to turn to God for strength in seemingly impossible moments. The rest of the counsel might surprise and anger you, as it did Beatrice, but in following Beatrice through her journey, we recognize the strength and power within ourselves by allowing God to work within us to change our circumstances through His will. As each character discovers this is not an easy choice, but a difficult, daily, conscience decision worth making.

Other themes include the relationship between mother and daughter, social classes, marriage, love, business.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By M. Cargill on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Lynn's other books and loved them tremendously. They're very catchy and full of historical facts that make you feel like you're a part of action. I have recommended all of her books to many of my friends and family because they were so well written and captivating.

When I started reading Though Waters Roar, I had all this in mind. However, I found this book to be very slow in the beginning and kind of confusing if you are trying to follow the story line (she starts in present time and jumps back to the past without giving hardly any explanation in the beginning). Personally, I think there were too many characters stories to keep track of throughout the whole book.

Despite the slow and confusing start to the story, it does liven up a bit in the middle and last part of the story. This wasn't one of Lynn's better books, but it will not deter me from reading her new books in the years to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne wesley on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
"As I said before, Grandma Bebe never did tell a story in a straight line like the chapters in a book. Following the thread of her sagas was like chasing a startled rabbit through the woods -- you never knew when it was going to turn and head in a new direction."

This novel's main character, Harriet, spends the majority of the story reflecting from a jail cell on conversations she's had throughout her life with her mother and grandmother (whom she feels will be particularly disappointed in her reasons for being incarcerated). As she states later in the book, Harriet comes from a long line of heroines that have fought for various causes. She harbors the desire to be a heroine herself, but feels like all the battles have been won by the generations before her.

Covering the topics of slavery, the underground railroad, the civil war, alcoholism, depression, prohibition, women's suffrage ... and more, this book spans four generations of women and the struggles they faced in their society and in their marriages. Masterfully woven into their lives is the analogy of water. The beauty of a waterfall reflects the "swept away" feeling of a young couple from two very different lives caught up in love. Unfortunately, the destructive force of water breaking apart a dam - long been beaten against by too much rain ... seems to greatly match the turmoil within the civil war veteran husband. Beautifully done!

Along the way, the three generations of women before her have found peace with their circumstances by trusting God to lead them in the right way to help others, and to face their own fears whenever bucking the system became necessary. Harriet has the desire to follow in their footsteps, but does she have the right motivation? And will Tommy O'Reilly help to change her mind about men? (I won't spoil the fun of finding out on your own.)

This is a wonderfully written book, and one I would highly recommend to others!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Bain on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback



LYNN AUSTIN seems to stand head & shoulders above all living American authors of
Christian Fiction today. I do not know if I can extend any greater complement to an author.

Christian authors have been an uphill struggle for me, because there are so many problematic issues with the genre. There are popular authors and bestselling authors, who are either skirting all the boundaries of the designation "Christian" or who are actually authors attempting to slip New Age or unChristian doctrines into their novels, so as to pass them off on the reading public. The other problem with the genre is unimaginative dialogue, technical errors of all kinds and contrary and inconsistent character development. (Forgive me please if I dwell on the topic, but I have just completed three novels of "Christian Fiction," and rather than review them all in honesty, I prefer to simply skip them, and forget them.)

Then I discovered LYNN AUSTIN. From the first pages she is a breath of fresh air.


Her dialogue elicits interest from the first chapter. Her characters are lively, and show a full spectrum of human traits. Austin manages to lift them above the all--too--common Passive Agressive or Shy personalities which, sheep like, get passed off as "Christian". Austin's characters show a broad experience in life, and vibrate with the warmth of living and imperfect human beings.



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