Part of the Chosen Daughters series, Against the Tide, the Valor of Margaret Wilson, was written by Hope Irvin Marston.
And what a load of slop it is.
How someone can with good conscience reduce the story of a martyred girl during the killing times of seventeenth century Scotland to that of a cheap romance novel, is more than I can fathom.
The true story of Margret Wilson should be inspiring and admirable. She died for her faith, steadfast in the face of public humiliation, and ultimately, death. Yet what the author portrays, amidst a cheap, romance background, is a young girl in rebellion to her father, who deceives her parents, and leads on a young man she has no intention of marrying. What a stirling character portrayal to hold up as a role model for the target audience of 9 – 12 year olds!
The worst of it is that the romance was an invention of the author, and the scenes of her questioning whether her actions were rebellion and arrogance, or faith, are pure conjecture. Can you really admire someone for standing for their ideals, when they are not sure of their own motives in doing so?
There is also the obligatory slur on her parents. The mother is not mentioned without her; sobbing, gasping, blanching, cringing, fainting, crying or generally simpering in a sea of brainless emotion, or the real pearler – telling the daughter (in a whisper of course!) to disobey her father, and that the mother wishes she was as strong as the daughter.
The father is portrayed as a meat headed, dull witted imbecile, who cares more about his cows than his faith. Most scenes where he is mentioned he is rendered incapable of speech.
In truth, the man was a successful landholder, with a very sizable fortune. You don’t arrive at the position this man held in his community by being as thick as he was portrayed in this book.
While the period of history covered here is important, and the story of the two Margarets worth reading, unless you like Mills and Boon, don’t bother with this book.