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Hope of Ages Past*

Life on the Banks of a Turbulent River

I remember seeing a quote some time ago about the course of history being like a river, but that life was lived on the banks.

This book does a fantastic job of showing “life on the banks” of the turbulent river that was the 30 Years’ War. This is not something I’m familiar with from my extensive reading of historical fiction. So, it was fun to read something new, but at times I felt a little lost about all of the bigger picture that was going on. But the author was successful in helping me get an emotional feel of what it might have been like in a society that is so very different than my own.

While I found the first chapter hard to get into, once the story fast-forwarded 11 years, I was hooked. I think I found the first chapter hard to get through was because it felt like a recitation of a historical event rather than a story. But after that, as soon as Peter’s story truly started, I was drawn in to the various characters very human struggles. I loved that faith, compassion, and the goodness of people persevered against incredible odds and difficulties. Some of the descriptions of events like the war scenes had me wanting to forget that I had other commitments so I could keep reading!

If you’re looking for something a little different in your historical fiction–with compelling, complex characters and a keeps-you-reading plot–you may very well find this book worth your time.