P & R Publishing
Against the Tide by Hope Marston is about Margaret Wilson, a 17th century Scottish girl who struggles to remain true to her faith despite King Charles IIís orders for complete submissiveness to him as a deity. Margaret must deal with conflicting loyalties between her family, king, and God.
The book is laid out in a clear, chronological format, although it is slowly paced as it goes through the difficulties of Margaretís teenage life. A ďwhoís who in the storyĒ table is helpful in sorting out the characters one encounters. Margaretís relationship with Christ is strongly portrayed, as is her closeness to her family. The interaction between Margaret and her sweetheart is weakly done, however. The pace of the book quickens as it nears the end, with Margaretís capture, trial, and threatened execution.
King Charles II proclaims that he is the head of the church, and that it is illegal to believe that Jesus is the Head. Those who believe so are called Covenanters and are marked for persecution. Margaret tries to decide what is right-- following the king of England or following the King of her heart. She eventually decides to go live with the hill folk, who are other Covenanters who refuse to do as King Charles orders. She and her siblings who go with her get caught, and her family is punished. Her siblings are set free, but Margaret is sentenced to execution for treason.
Margaret is a girl who wants to do whatís right and is willing to stand up for what she believes in. Margaret doesnít seem to change or grow as the book progresses; her faith is just as strong in the end of the book as it was in the beginning. The difficulties her family and the other Scots face just get worse. The other characters in the book are flatly drawn, and there is little differentiation between Margaretís brothers and their friends.
Against the Tide would be best suited for teenaged girls who like historical fiction. It was a story with a strong heroine, but less than strong storytelling. -- Jessica Becker, Christian Book Previews.com
Seventeenth-century Scotland is a place of cruel intolerance for the Covenanters, a people bound together by their loyal faith. A young, earnest Covenanter, Margaret Wilson finds her pledged loyalty to Christ and His covenant in opposition to King Charles II's demand for her absolute obedience. Margaret, a stalwart for the faith, is eventually apprehended by the Kingís forces. She refuses to recant and is executed by drowning while tied to a stake at low tide.