Mystery, romance, and growth in godliness, suitable for teenagers.
Note: This book was originally published under the title "Lost, A Pearle." This is a review of the Lamplighter edition.
It was a perfect summer day on which the beautiful Pearle and noble Richard were to join their loving hearts in marriage. But through a twist of cruel treachery and gross deception, the bride joins herself in marriage not to her beloved Richard, but to his evil best friend. Horrified by what she has done, Pearle flees both her friends and her villainous husband, and unintentionally brings the light of her goodness and faith in God everywhere she goes.
Forgery, gambling, betrayal, deceit, abuse, bigamy, swearing, class prejudice, and class pride all have a part in the story and are strongly condemned.
A man is said multiple times to love a woman, yet, as the editor writes in a footnote, he cannot truly love her as he destroys her life to get her.
It is stated more than once that physical beauty is worth little without a beautiful soul within.
Many characters are very virtuous, showing love, care, and courtesy to those around them. Some characters learn to focus on others, not themselves. Forgiveness, courage, and self-sacrifice are extolled. One character is described as proud, the pride being akin to dignity, and it is not clear whether this is thought to be good or bad.
Characters speak of recognizing God as their Creator and the One who gave His life for them. They give Him credit for changing them and enabling them to bear their trials. The biggest message is that God uses bad things, even our own wrong choices, to bring people closer to Himself in both understanding and likeness.
A couple of characters die in accidents. A character loses her memory from an accident. There is mention of characters having died from illnesses. A character had physically abused his wife and child. A man knocks another man down. A character is burned in a fire.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Medicine is given to patients multiple times. It is not stated what the medicine is.
Bigamy has a role in the story, it being strongly condemned. There are many hugs between friends, and a few chaste kisses. A couple of characters fall in love with others who are secretly married. Pearle's husband tries to make her come live with him.
Crude or Profane Language or Content
It is stated several times that a character swears, but the words are not written.
I raced through this book and really enjoyed putting together the different pieces of the story, and figuring out how the different mysterious characters were connected to each other. There are many "nick of time" meetings and events, which are credited to God's providence. While the conversations about God are few and far between, they are very good. One reader says that this book really encouraged her about her own choices and trials.
The author moves forward and back along the timeline of the story multiple times (usually in order to follow multiple characters), but it is fairly easy to follow and not get confused.
The Lamplighter editors changed very little in the book, so punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure are mostly the same as in the original edition. However, they added definitions of difficult words (from "reproof" to the occasional word in French) in footnotes.