Sunday, July 19, 2015

A review of Marie Duran, a Christian Biography for young readers by Simonetta Carr

A review of Marie Duran, a Christian Biography for young readers by Simonetta Carr

Publisher's description:

"In 1730, nineteen-year-old Marie Durand was arrested and taken from her home in a village in Southern France for the crime of having a brother who was a Protestant preacher. Imprisoned in the Tower of Constance, Marie would spend the next thirty-eight years there. Simonetta Carr introduces us to the inspiring life of a woman who could have recanted her Protestant faith and gained release, but held fast to the truth—and encouraged others to do so as well. Beautiful illustrations, a simply told story, and interesting facts acquaint young readers with the challenges facing Protestants in eighteenth-century France and show them that even a life spent in prison can be lived in service to Christ and to others."

This is the third book I have reviewed in the excellent Christian biography for young readers series by Simonetta Carr.  (You can read my reviews of the two other books I have reviewed here and here).  One of the things I love about these books is to see how excited my children Sam (age 8) and Hannah (age 6) get when we read one together.  They always sit attentively as we read them together and I can't think of a better way to introduce children to inspirational figures in church history than this series.

This book came to us at the most opportune time.  We do family devotions and just a few days before I received this book I had been telling the children how blessed we were to be able to worship together in freedom.  I told them that there are many places in the world today where if we there what we do in our home, we could get dragged off to jail or killed for our faith.  How appropriate to be able to reinforce this by telling the story of Marie Durand.

I had never heard of Marie Durand but this book helped bring her to life and show the depth of her steadfast faith in Christ amidst the deepest tragedies and persecutions.  Not only does Simonetta bring Marie to life with her writings, the photos and illustrations included throughout this book help us visualize this amazing woman's story.

This was especially helpful for my children when we got to the part of the story where Marie was imprisoned in the Tower of Constance.  The pictures and artwork helped them to see how dreadful that place was, and helps drive home how much it cost Marie to not renounce her Protestant faith.

This book was excellent, and a great way to introduce children to the faithful giants of the faith who have gone before us.  I can't recommend this series enough.

What did my son Sam have to say about this book?

"I liked that when Marie was captured and in jail for thirty eight years she didn't complain but held on and helped people.  Marie Durand was awesome!"

What did my daughter Hannah have to say?

"I liked Marie"...  

Every time I read one of these stories I am reminded that as Christians we stand on the shoulders of giants.  Surely we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, may all of us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, drawing encouragement from their faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

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