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on September 7, 2009
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. Characters demonstrate that making the right decision is often the more difficult path to follow. The author does not ignore her characters weaknesses, but allows them to learn from their mistakes. The reader shares their love, frustration, anger, and other emotions as they share their lives. The trials faced by each character are similar to current situations we all face today.
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on October 12, 2009
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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on December 5, 2009
"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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on December 5, 2012
Lynn has a great gift for telling stories with real characters. Thoughtful and intelligent stories are her forte, and she fills a sorely needed hole in our culture. I especially related to Harriet, because so often, I have felt that there are more things out there that I am meant to accomplish, but I have never felt secure in what I should do. I wish I had had the mentors Harriet had. This is the 3rd book of Lynn's I have read, and again, it was hard to put down, but I only gave it 4 stars because I found it to be a little preschooler than her others, and I wasn't always in agreement with the doctrine.
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on June 13, 2015
This is one of those books, like many Lynn Austin books I've read that you don't want to end. You become so involved and identify so well with the characters she's writing about that you feel a part of their lives. There is history as well as fiction tied into this book which I love and she always has the characters identify with Christianity but not so much that it's a turn off to a non-Christian reading the book.
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on May 17, 2014
The women in this family are all spectacular in one way or another. They fought against slavery, for prohibition and then fought for women to vote, What an interesting and brave group of women. Though this book was interesting, I don't believe this was one of Lynn Austin's best books. Read it and Judge for yourself.
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on January 6, 2010
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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.

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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.

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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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I was actually wondering, when I picked up "Though Waters Roar" if there were any Christians in America who could actually write with intelligence, build lively and interesting characters that did not vacillate between depression, or an untoward shyness, or wallowing in so much Self Pity, that they serve as the very antithesis of the designation "Christian" and whose authors are trying to pawn off to readers as typifying a chaotic variation on the meaning of "spirituality".

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. Austin's characters demonstrate a realism that is at one and the same time, frightening and funny, which is, as one thinks about it, precisely what the experience of Life is all about. It is funny at times, and very frightening at others. As Austin shows her characters, the reader is able to see them as real folks, doing what real folks do. They function with amused indifference, take chances, or show spiritual discernment and intense spritual dedication. They can laugh at themselves, and appear modest only in some contexts, while permitting themselves to speak out on social issues. They do not show so much timidity, as many such characters appear in Christian Fiction, that they appear to be emulating humanoid sheep, moreso than Men and Women.

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I like a writer with the guts to say something.
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Furthermore, I like Austin because she isn't just writing a book about women who are vacuously self absorbed about their own feelings, or wallowing around entirely in emotional reactions to the feelings of men. Her characters can remind, as happens in this book, that the Women's Christian Temperance Union was active in such a way, so as to have been an important cause of the passsage of the EIGHTEENTH AMENDMENT of the Constitution (Prohibition of the sale of Alcohol) on 29 January 1928. (Later repealed)

Her characters can remind that Christians were primarily the membership of the Abolitionist movement which brought about the end of Slavery in the United States. So many of the recent Christian Fiction is unable to show that the characters have any connection whatsoever to the social issues of the real world around them, or worse, leave the reader straining at the proposition that to be a "Christian" means nothing more than to work the land, and cook and clean with fervor.

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But I do like this Austin. She is an author with a powerful intelligence. I do not feel when reading her, that I am confident that I could write SO---MUCH----BETTER, which is what I so often feel when reading a handful of the popular published authors. [Sometimes I feel like singing the chorus from Scarecrow theme from the "Wizard of Oz".]

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. When a reader finds themself laughing out loud two or three times in the first chapter of this book, they will more or less get the idea.

Also, I am very fond of the way that the author reveals an entire family of characters going back to Grandparents and Great-Grandparents to show a full spectrum of family. Those of us who come from broken homes, devoid of Christian teachings, can truly appreciate that an author can awaken in us, a sense that there can be an extended family of persons with a basic conception of morality.

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. Imagine my shock when I discovered that this author has six titles to her credit already. In the bookstores, the clerks try to help, but often as not they haven't a clue as to what good "Christian" fiction is, let alone good generic fiction. Had they known, they would certainly have recommended the works of this author to me.

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on July 13, 2015
It wasn't clear. I never knew who was talking.

I was never clear who was talking. Most confusing book I've read in an long time. I have read several of Lynn austim's books and enjoyed them. This one a disappointment.
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on April 9, 2015
This is a delightful read. Not sophisticated, just good characters with common sense and a will to do what is right. It spans generations and is cleverly written as all three women find their "callings". The book takes place during the fight for prohibition of alcohol and women's right to vote. To me the characters were believe able as they struggled to find their faith when life was hard. I think every woman could relate to facing the struggles of life that oftentimes take a lifetime to resolve. I loved the strong familial relationships as well. It's a book with heart!
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on August 4, 2014
Lynn Austin's novels never disappoint! Though Waters Roar was a tad slow at first - it picked up speed and as always with Austin's read unpredictable. Characters come to life and you feel their happiness and their pain. So much interesting history - end of the civil war and the mix of high society with working class makes for an interesting and appealing read.
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