Through The Shadows by Karen Barnett

Amazing Grace

ShadowsThrough The Shadows by Karen Barnett is the third book in the Golden Gate Chronicles. It is a Christian historical novel set in 1908 in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

The novel is all about new beginnings. No-one is too far from the hand of God. “You’re never beyond God’s love.” Whatever the past, God can take lives and redeem them. “All around you… you can see God bringing life from the ashes… And He’s redeeming these girls from the ruin of their lives too.” The story centres around a Chinese mission to rescue young girls and women from a life of slavery and/or prostitution. The centre is run by Miss Cameron who will stop at nothing to give the girls a new start in life.

Through The Shadows continues the theme of rescue throughout. One can be physically rescued or spiritually rescued. This all ties in with the theme of grace. Everyone has sinned but Jesus went to the cross for all our sins. We all need grace and we all need to dispense grace. If we close our eyes to suffering, it is as if we are turning our backs on Jesus.

Grace links in with the theme of forgiveness. Often it is easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. “If God had given her the gift of freedom, why did she live under the shadows of the past?” Our guilt can weigh us down, but Jesus dealt with our guilt on the cross. God forgives our sins and chooses not to remember them. We would be wise to do the same.

Elizabeth, a young teacher has a past. She bargains with God, intending to work her way to forgiveness. Elizabeth has missed the point – it is not about what we can do, it is about what Jesus has done.

The novel has an over-riding theme of love, beautifully put by lift operator Eugene “Career ups and downs- they don’t matter none. It’s all about loving the people God gives you.” It is important to love people and not to judge them. There are instances in the story where people are prejudiced against the residents of China Town. They see the tongs rivalry, the opium dens and the prostitution but they do not see the individuals. “A patient is first and foremost a person. Treat them as such.” We need to see people and not have generalisations.

I absolutely loved all three Golden Gate novels so far. Karen Barnett has created some wonderful storylines and characters. There is a serious underlying message to save people from others and themselves, as well as a gentle story of everyday life and friendships. There were some very touching moments with the young girls and some highly amusing scenes too.

A delightful series.

I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.  No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.



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