Devotedly, (The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot) | Book Review
This book wins the award for longest title!
Many know the heroic story of Jim Elliot's violent death in 1956, killed along with four other missionaries by a primitive Ecuadorian tribe they were seeking to reach. Many also know the prolific legacy of Elisabeth Elliot, whose inspiring influence on generations of believers through print, broadcast, and personal testimony continues to resonate, even after her own death in 2015.
What many don't know if the remarkable story of how these two stalwart personalities - single-mindedly devoted to pursuing God's will for their young lives, certain their future callings would require them to sacrifice forever the blessings of marriage - found their hearts intertwined. Their paths to God's purpose led them together.
Now, for the first time, their only child - daughter Valerie Elliot Shepard - unseals never-before-published letters and private journals that capture in first-person intimacy the attraction, struggle, drama, and devotion that became a most unlikely love story.
Riveting for old and young alike, this moving account of their personal lives shines as a goldmine of lived-out truth, hard-fought purity, and an insider's view on two beloved Christian figures.
Valerie Elliot Shepard wrote a new and in-depth look at her parents' love story, and let me just tell you, I was charmed! If you have read Passion and Purity like I did, you probably think you have a pretty good grasp on their story. But, like me, you would be very wrong! This book brings so much more insight, with even more letters, journal entries, and lots and lots of pictures!
I got a much fuller picture of both Jim and Elisabeth's personalities, and a daughter's candid commentary, born of a lifetime of knowing her mother, adds spice and humor where Elisabeth would have been more reserved. I chuckled quite a few times at their tension over air mail vs. regular mail and the very normal flustered disagreements and comical misunderstandings. The attraction neither understood and the blossoming of love unfolds in a way that is intimate and amusing.
For instance, did you know that Elisabeth's never-before-published list of qualities she wanted in her ideal man included a strong jaw and piercing eyes?
Or that Jim played a practical joke at college that he was engaged to a mutual friend, then panicked that things were moving too quickly when someone thought he and Betty were engaged? Of course this led Elisabeth to understandable frustration and confusion at his mixed signals and she almost broke things off.
Valerie's commentary is witty and easy to read. If you have been impacted by any of Elisabeth's writings or Jim's testimony, then make this book next on your reading list. It's worth the deeper look.
Check it out on Amazon here.
*I am a B&HPublishing/Lifeway Blogger. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.*
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