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Book Review
Overall: 8
Sensuality: 1
Inspirational Element: 10

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Official Review This is an Official Review by a Inspirational Romance Writer Official Reviewer

Review for Longing Season, The
Author: Christine Schaub
Date of Review: 08/06/06
Reviewed by: Tracy

Reviewer Comments: Christine Schaub brings readers another installment in her Music of the Heart series with her new historical romance The Longing Season. Readers are taken on an inspirational journey from deepest Africa to the social season for London’s elite. All along Schaub tells the story of Amazing Grace and the sweet beginnings that changed one man’s life and shaped one of the great religious anthems of the 20th century.

John Newton has been stranded and enslaved in Sierra Leone, alone and near dead he is beaten and ridiculed. Newton’s only relief comes from his memories of England and a sweet young woman he befriended, Mary Catlett. He pours his heart out to her in a letter and sends it along begging his father to rescue him and deliver the letter to his love. John quickly pushes away from God and, to save him from slavery, becomes a slaver himself. Traveling through Africa buying as much “cargo” as he can acquire and making money. He longs for home and Mary but believes there is no way for him to return to polite society.

Mary Catlett also longs for her friend John at her home on the coast in England. Her melancholy mood soon has her mother sending her to London to visit her Aunt and spend the season there. Mary meets a dashing Captain who begins to court her, but her heart and mind keep returning to her lost love. Mary begs her friends and family to help her uncover the whereabouts of her lost love. Only when she finds the truth, can she move on with her life and find true love.

The Longing Season is a story written to inspire about one woman’s search for lost love and one man’s search for his soul. Schaub does not sugar coat the life of John Newton, showing him for what he was before he found the God. Never letting readers forget that Newton lived as only some can imagine as a slave trader and seeker of delights. Schaub juxtaposes the life that John lived with the sweet world and devotion of Mary Catlett creating an intriguing story that readers will feel deeply.

The Longing Season is a superbly written tale of two people searching for their true destiny and finding their way through divine inspiration. Schaub’s tale adds depth and understanding to the heartfelt hymn that has been a religious anthem for our age. The Longing Season brings all of these elements together for a truly inspirational tale that will leave readers with a lighter heart.

Overall: 10
Sensuality: 1
Inspirational Element: 10

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This is a romance community member review

Review for Longing Season, The
Author: Christine Schaub
Date of Review: 05/04/06
Reviewed by: Marilyn

Reviewer Comments: If good things come in small packages, then you are in for a real treat with this short but very powerful and poignant story found in Christine Schaub’s THE LONGING SEASON -- second book in her ‘Music of the Heart’ series.

As the son of a sea captain in England 1746, there were few options open for a young man than to serve his king during a time of war. Unfortunately the young, brash John Newton served only himself. Going off to sea that journey would see him flogged, turned into a slave, then into a slave trader living a degenerate lifestyle while renouncing all of God’s teachings. By some small miracle, word reached him from home and John would start on a new journey with a small ‘sliver of hope’ that the young woman he’d once lost his heart to would still be waiting there. The journey would be full of pitfalls that would test his faith and bring him to his knees, but through it all Newton would discover the journey to redemption would be one of the most important of his life. Later in life, he would reflect over that journey and go on to write one of the most beloved hymns of all time – ‘Amazing Grace’.

This was an extraordinary read. The author researched and wrote this with impeccable attention to detail breathing life into the characters that made them even bigger than life. While John Newton led an interesting and incredible life, I was more impressed by the woman he loved. Mary Catlett was a young woman who gave away her heart to a childhood sweetheart, yet when all had given him up for dead remained steadfast in her determination praying for his safe return. Afforded a season in London, courted by a very handsome, very eligible and honorable heir to an Earldom she would turn down a brilliant offer of marriage to remain ‘waiting for John’.

This author’s unique voice, well-written and fast-paced read was a joy making me both laugh and cry. To be sure, as a soloist in my church choir I will have a much greater appreciation while singing one of my personal favorite hymns now knowing of the trials this man’s journey of redemption took him on to create such a masterpiece. I loved this book and very highly recommend it.

Marilyn Rondeau, RIO – Reviewers International Organization

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