Reviewed by Deborah Stone for Readers' Favorite
Throne of Grace by Cecily Wolfe is a story of love and trials between a man of wealth and a girl of servitude, a pairing that just was not done in 1893 between the different classes. Josie, a house maid in the Davenport mansion, falls in love with Arthur, the only Davenport son. Their faith and desire to serve God initially draws them together while his family and the community itself try to end this ridiculous union. Arthur is supposed to follow his father into business and marry whomever his parents, especially his mother, deem a good match. This, of course, means money, name, social standing and such things. Josie, well, she will marry whoever will have a girl like her. As Josie and Arthur’s friendship grows stronger, their bond and commitment grow as well. Love is the inevitable outcome, but to stay together will come at a cost. Not just for them, but for Josie’s mother, Lucy, as well. Is this really what God wants or are Josie and Arthur both caught up in the excitement of helping others or a need to defend each other as good friends? Could a couple from such different backgrounds and stations in life ever be happy together, and will they have to choose which world they live in? They will need to rely on each other as they wait for God to show them what He wants.
Cecily Wolfe tells a familiar story with the added benefits of knowing the spiritual and emotional aspects of the characters as well. This is a well written, smart, tender and engaging story that draws the reader in and makes it hard to put the book down. Wolfe has captured the essence of young love and the torment of prejudice due to old ideas of an upper and lower class being able to define the value of individuals. Wolfe’s descriptive writing and command of language make this an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable read. Wolfe has given us Josie, a servant girl trying to “discern the difference between romantic love and the love of friendship,” an issue still relevant today. Wolfe touches on many topics that are dealt with daily, and offers words of wisdom and encouragement to inspire wise decisions. Prayer is a constant theme that supports her characters and shows us the depth of their commitment to God, even before their commitment to each other. Cecily Wolfe delivers a lovely, well written, well thought out love story with much deeper life lessons sprinkled throughout.