Friday, January 19, 2007

[Book Review] GLIMPSES OF TRUTH by Jack Cavanaugh


Dean E. Moore reviews GLIMPSES OF TRUTH by Jack Cavanaugh (Zondervan Pub., 1999)

This exciting book is the story behind the power struggle created by Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible. The plot involves a common family swept up in the severe winds of change during the Reformation. The power of Rome, the power of English nobility and royalty are all caught up in the brewing whirlwind ignited by Wycliffe’s followers known as the Lollards. This work of fiction was appropriately dedicated to the memory of Anne Askew (1520-1548.) At 28 years of age she was burned at the stake. What was her crime? She read from an English version of the Bible.

The dedication just mentioned sets the tone for the story. Thomas Torr is the main character. He was a commoner with an uncertain parentage. He has a bright mind and is a "scribe" for Wycliffe. He lives with a ploughman and his family. Thomas becomes a focal point in the great power struggle between Rome and England, nobility and the common man, the Catholic and Protestant churches. The plot moves along rapidly and is interwoven with infidelity, romance, deception, attempted murders, robbery, and cruelty. The hopes and aspirations of Thomas Torr, allow us to experience the conflict first hand.

This fast paced, gentle fiction novel includes strong character development, excitement and realistic history. Even though Glimpses of Truth is not written as a mystery, the social and political undertones provide rich anecdotes of multiple twists and turns. Sometimes the adventure becomes so powerful one can almost forget it is fiction. The historical realism could place this work in the "historical fiction" collection.

Dean E. Moore, Frayser Branch Library

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