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in the Dust
Author: Gilbert Morris
Publisher: Howard Books (Simon & Schuster), 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10021, 2009, ISBN: 978-1-4165-8746-0, pb, pp. 303, $13.95.
Christian author Gilbert Morris has come out with yet another novel. This prolific writer, and prolific may even be too modest a term, has over 200 novels in print since the 1980ís. Surely a triumph for dedicated work.
Honor in the Dust could be called a prequel in the Winslow series of books concerning the Winslow family. Here, the story begins in 1497 and continues through 1536. It is set in England during the time of King Henry VIII and concerns the kingís various marriages to procure a male heir, plus Henryís determination to divorce and re-marry at will. Part of the problem is that few people could read at this time, especially read the Bible which was in Latin, a language for members of the clergy or the wealthy. A person like William Tyndale, who wanted to translate the Bible from Latin into English, was looked upon as a heretic.
The story begins in 1487 with Claiborn Winslow, his younger brother, Edmund and Edmundís intended bride, Grace. Claiborn was a soldier and gone so long, Grace and Edmund became engaged. Grace changes her mind and elopes with Claiborn to begin an almost lifelong division within the family. The story continues with Edmundís marriage to someone else, their mother trying to bring the brothers together, and Claiborn and Graceís life in Ireland and back in England. The next generation is represented by their son, Stuart, who is also a soldier, but headed for a position at the court of King Henry VIII.
Gilbert Morris is an interesting writer and brings the reader into the story. Throughout the book, which is essentially an elongated sermon, strong faith in God is represented by those who would be honest and have honor. The title of the book, Honor in the Dust comes from one of the psalms where a manís honor is not to be placed in the dust. Stuart, the main character in the last half of the book, meets major historical figures such as Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More, Tyndale, Queen Catherine and her daughter, Princess Mary. They are briefly described and that is it. People have strong faith in dire circumstances and whenever you think there is no hope, God provides a solution. I would describe this book as almost chaste concerning war and romantic relationships. It could be read by middle-schoolers and adults alike.
Reviewed by Marie Asner