Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Escape: The Adventures of Three Huguenot Children Fleeing Persecution

The Escape: The Adventures of Three Huguenot Children Fleeing Persecution, by A. Van der Jagt (Inheritance Publications, 2001), pb., 179 pp.

We really enjoyed this one! The plight of French Protestants (Huguenots) in 17th century is told from the perspective of three children who end up on their own due to persecution. John and Manette’s family endures persecution because of their allegiance to the gospel. Their father is sent away to the galleys for life and their mother eventually dies of the resulting strain. Manette is sent away to Paris to live in an abusive situation. John encounters trouble as he holds fast in refusing to adopt Catholicism. Eventually John runs away intending to find and free his sister and make their way to Holland and freedom- both daunting tasks. Along the way he meets Camille another Huguenot boy who has fled after his parents converted under pressure but he was unwilling to do so.

The story presents the history well, and is full of good examples on various points including perseverance, diligence, prayer, compassion, and sacrifice. For example, when John is being pressured to convert to Catholicism and can find no way out he begins to despair. He was only a boy and couldn’t fight alone against all the priests! Thinking of this, he lifted his head with a jerk for it suddenly dawned on him that this was not true. His thoughts were utter nonsense, for he didn’t have to fight alone. Hadn’t Mother told him that the Lord would never forsake His children? Hadn’t she taught him to pray! He blushed for this very night he had completely forgotten his evening prayer. He hadn’t told the Lord his difficulties and worries as he should have done before anything else.

Slowly, he left the window and before he went back to bed, he knelt on the floor and prayed. He prayed for his father and Manette but above all he asked the Lord to give him a brave and faithful heart so that he could resist all temptation and be a true servant of Jesus Christ. (p. 22)

Some may look down on this as “moralizing”, but I disagree. It comes out naturally in the story as believing young man simply lives out his faith. It is one of the best way to teach the same to my boys. I delight in books like this.

Lastly, the book was well written. We have read other books (and they have been commented on in this blog) that had good content but simply were not told very well. This book was a delight. My boys hung on each chapter, begging each night for me to read more and urging each other to get ready for bed (finish chores etc.) quickly so that we could have more time to read (that’s always helpful!). This is a fun, meaningful book- exactly the sort we look for. We would highly recommend it.


At 6:57 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the heads up on this series, Ray. I'm going to order this one. Hope all of you are doing well.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Ray Van Neste said...

We are doing well, thanks. I hope you enjoy this series as we have.

At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Annie Kate said...

Good review! We loved the book too.

I linked to your review in mine.


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