Welcome to the Blog Tour for Far Above Rubies by Jolyn Canty, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Far Above Rubies: The Life of Louisa MacDonald Author: Jolyn Canty Publisher: Azure Star LLC Release Date: April 14, 2021 Genre: BiographyHer husband—a friend to Mark Twain, mentor to Lewis Carroll, and the man C.S. Lewis called his “master”—was one of the greatest Christian writers of the Victorian era. She was his hidden gem, the bulwark and bastion on which he could lean. Though she was an accomplished musician and singer, an advocate for the poor and neglected, and a published author, she didn’t need the spotlight, but was content to be her husband’s biggest fan and companion. She bore eleven children and adopted and cared for several others. Enduring hardships few of us will ever experience, this petite woman faced them with courage and strength. Her name was Louisa MacDonald.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Far Above Rubies by Jolyn Canty and a $25 Amazon gift card!
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 6, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 13, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Print copy US only. Ebook and gift card available for international where available. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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My thoughts about Far Above Rubies
I don’t often read biographies. But I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to read Jolyn Canty’s recounting of the life of Louisa MacDonald, the wife of author George MacDonald. You might be familiar with some of MacDonald’s works, like The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, The Wise Woman, and Phantastes, which so influenced C.S. Lewis that he considered it as the book that started his journey from atheist to believing Christ-follower. MacDonald was also a poet and a pastor; and, the husband of Louisa, whose life, spiritual journey, and faith are beautifully told in Far Above Rubies. What a life, and what a story!
Louisa Powell, one of 13 children in a well-to-do British family, met George MacDonald through her brother’s wife, his cousin. The entire Powell family was taken by George’s charisma, kindness, love of literature, and strong Christian faith. Louisa and George began a friendship started by his letter to her, and several years of friendship moved into courtship and marriage as he finished the university studies that would allow him to become a pastor. They shared in common a love of story, poetry, and nature, and both earnestly desired to know God and love Him. They married after he was offered his first pastorate at Trinity Church in Arundel. Their immense love for each other and for God provided a rich foundation for their marriage. Yet before them would lie many trials, including George’s often-poor health, poverty, and the necessity of moving very frequently, in search of homes they could afford or climates that wouldn’t ruin George’s health further.
Through all of this, though, Louisa and George remained enormously committed to each other and to their faith, resulting in over 50 years of devoted marriage. Their deep love for each other and God kept their commitment strong and created a beautiful atmosphere for their many children (11 biological, plus more that were adopted). Even though poverty was often at the door as George’s writing didn’t always bring in an abundance of funds, they sought for and found ways to not only survive but thrive. I can’t tell you the deep encouragement that Far Above Rubies was to me. Louisa’s incredible devotion to her God, her marriage, and her children was absolutely remarkable. She was deeply committed to living and loving in such a way that her children knew God’s absolute love and affection for, and delight in them. She made life fun and exciting by taking her children out in nature, writing plays for them to act out (which later even became a way she could bring funds into her family), reading wonderful literature to them and teaching them at home. Her faith undergirded all her efforts, and was embraced by her children as well as they lived and grew in their devoted family environment. Louisa met trial and struggle with a firm and growing faith in God, in Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit, as well as with her own immense creativity and joy.
Jolyn Canty does a marvelous job of telling Louisa MacDonald’s story to a twenty-first century audience. Although Louisa’s daily life in Victorian England looked very different from our own, she exhibited the most beautiful life of faith, love, and passionate care for her own family, supported by her great God and her loving husband. Canty includes many quotes from letters from George and Louisa to each other, as well as excerpts from George’s numerous books and even words from the MacDonalds’ children, which bring their story to life even more for readers. I was captivated by Louisa’s incredible life, and deeply encouraged to be reminded of all that I could accomplish as a woman in a different century. Her modeling of love and faith made an enormous impact on me. Far Above Rubies is a beautiful biography of one woman’s remarkable life.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.