Saturday, July 10, 2021

Far Above Rubies by Jolyn Canty & GIVEAWAY

Far Above Rubies JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Far Above Rubies by Jolyn Canty, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I received the ebook for review and the following is my personal opinion.


Far Above Rubies: The Story of Louisa MacDonald

Title: Far Above Rubies: The Life of Louisa MacDonald
Author: Jolyn Canty
Publisher: Azure Star LLC
Release Date: April 14, 2021
Genre: Biography

Her 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.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound

My Review:

Ok, this is one of those instances where we can't judge a book by its cover. I know that sounds terrible about the cover, but not knowing anything about George MacDonald, it initially did grab me. So, if I didn't know anything about George, I definitely didn't know anything about Louisa. This book certainly changed that for me and now I want to know them more.

I think when we read so many fictional stories about life in the 1800s we see it through a tainted view. Yes, there were hardships for the characters, but after reading about the lives of the MacDonalds' I see that I had a very skewed idea of that time period. Far Above Rubies opened my eyes up in so many ways.

Getting to know Louisa certainly humbled me and had me taking more than a double look at my life with my husband and children. Her devotion to her husband and family were remarkable, but even more so, her desire to lift the name of God was even greater. The author really brought Louisa to life as well as George.

First, I was shocked at how long she waited to marry him. Wow! But, they were so focused on making sure George was about the business of God, how could they do any less? And then their kids. Eleven kids is mind blowing enough, but when you read about their health issues it's a wonder she was able to have so many. On top of that, taking in 4 other children to raise was just incredible to me. The amount of times George was sick - starting before they even got married - shocked me. Makes me very thankful for all the medical advances we are privileged to have in this day and age.

Second, I couldn't believe how often they moved around! Whether it was from the utterly lack of finances or their poor health, they weren't in one place very long. Reading about all of the countries George visited for speaking engagements or work was surprising. And if we think about it, they didn't get to just hop on a plane and come back after a long weekend. Weeks and months would go by without them being together. Speaking of which, how often they'd leave a child or a few with family members while being gone for months at a time made my jaw drop! I couldn't even imagine!

The hardships they had to endure just tore at my heart, but God was so incredibly faithful to them through it all. The story was written beautifully in showing God's bountiful love for them, but the way they always sought to put God first, for His name to be lifted high, I can't imagine a married couple in this day and age who are/were so singularly minded with this goal at the forefront of everything they did. Oh to live with hearts like theirs.

While George seemed like a very tunnel vision kind of man, I found certain things funny about him. Like the fact that he grew a beard and it caused issues with his father-in-law! hahaha I mean, think of the times. Also how unbecoming it was back then to have a family performing plays. It just wasn't done back then, but Louisa really didn't have much of a choice when it came to finding ways to bring in an income. Although, time and again God provided for them in incredible ways.

I also had no idea that George was such a prolific writing. While I've heard his name before, I've never read anything by him. And while the author shares snippets of his writing, it's such old language it's hard for me to grasp it and I'm terrible when it comes to imagining what an author is trying to say without really saying it. It's clear back in the 1800s that his writing was well received (mostly) and people were able to grasp the meaning of what he wrote, but I found it difficult. I do want to give a couple of his books a read. Just to see if I can grasp them.

I could go on and on about everything they endured, the people they built connections and friendships with, and how God used them in so many ways. If I did that, I'd basically be writing another book. I'm glad I gave the book a go because it was a wonderful story about an amazing couple.


Jolyn Canty

Jolyn Canty is the wife to her beloved Earle, the mother of six, and the adoring Nana of three grandchildren. She is a talented artist, a passionate quilter, and a long-time devotee of George MacDonald.



(1) winner will receive a signed copy of Far Above Rubies by Jolyn Canty and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Far Above Rubies JustRead Giveaway

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.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

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Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the review.

Anonymous said...

sounds like my kind of book.

Anonymous said...

Love this! Thank you so much!

Betty C said...

I've never read anything by George MacDonald but this author says one of his books is her favorite so I think I have to take a look at that.

megana said...

I've added this to my tbr! I cant wait to dive in!

slehan said...

I enjoy reading good biographies. This looks enjoyable.
Thanks for the contest.

Caryl Kane said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

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