Friday, July 21, 2017


The following review of my 1940s-era Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS was written by Karen Burgess, who also made these sunflower potholders for me. Thanks, Karen!


This book, though based in the 1940 era, is very typical of the relationships of husband and wives today.  In other words, sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s sadly lacking God’s grace.  This couple and their issues are often typical of misunderstandings between husbands and wives.  I could identify with many of their communication issues.


I really loved the abundance of similes and metaphors.  The author has such a unique way of portraying everyday events with the likes of:  he sure insults me, frowning at me like I’m a weevil in a wheat bin  (p.23); as aimless as the fog that swirled off the bay (p.36); Frank’s laugh was as sharp as a Russian thistle. (p.191);  that his dad’s storytelling was like a leaky faucet.  Once it started running, it was impossible to turn off.  (p.271) ;  I can just hear the gossip: That Gypsy – unstable as molasses (p.123) ;  They’re already busier than a one-armed paper-hanger with the chickenpox. (p.165)  These are just a few of the many vivid word pictures the author works into this homey story.  Positively delightful!


I appreciate the fact that in chapter 64, Tina herself (the obvious Christian) realizes her own sin and shortfall, and comes to a genuine repentance.  I appreciate the fact, too, that life does not automatically become a bed of roses once she invites Christ into her life.  But it’s easy to see that Tina’s decision to follow Christ wholeheartedly does make a profound difference in her life afterwards.  The fact that Frank doesn’t follow in his wife’s footsteps is a very realistic outcome.


I would gladly recommend this book for a realistic and down-to-earth read, and a good insight into the thinking of Mennonites in that day, and sometimes even today.


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