Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Review of Crushed Yet Conquering by Deborah Alcock

For my review this week I am doing a book my Mum received to review.
Crushed Yet Conquering is the story of a young man, part French, part English, of the middle ages, Hubert Bohun, who at the start of the book is a clerk going to Constance, Germany, with his employer, the chancellor of Paris. The chancellor, whom the orphaned Hubert loved as a father, had come to be part of a church council which would, among other things, judge and condemn heretics. When Hubert is there, they were trying an early Bohemian (present day Czech Republic) reformer named John Huss. He witnesses his trial, his condemnation, and finally comes to believe that Huss was not a heretic after all, but a sincere Christian. He ends up leaving the chancellor, who had condemned Huss and going to Bohemia as a squire to Huss's dear friend Chlum. After that it is a story of the early reformed church in Bohemia. About the giving of the cup of the Lord's Supper to more people than just priests, and the persecution they recieved. It is also a story of other characters; the beautiful, high spirited Zedenka, the tragic romance of Aninka and Frantisek, the happier one of Hubert's brother Armand and Jocelyne, and the courageous boyhood of Chlum's young son.
This book doesn't have the problem of being too short, like most of my favorite novels, because it is quite thick and made up of two parts, one a story of Constance and the other of Bohemia. For a while it seems like a book and a sequel, but they stick together wonderfully as one novel. Another thing I love is that the author loved poetry and it shows in her writing, which is beautiful and often quotes poetry. It is unfortunate that John Huss was not a complete reformer and still believed in transubstantiation and perhaps on purgatory, but other than this, I cannot recommend Crushed Yet Conquering too highly. The plot is very intricate, with many fascinating characters and subplots and all together it makes a beautiful story filled with faith, love, friendship, and pathos. I highly recommend this for all 11 and older.

1 comment:

  1. Elisabeth,

    I like the sound of this book! Quite intriguing.
    Maybe I would be able to read it sometime.

    ~ Tarissa