Book Review: From Across the Ancient Waters by Michael Phillips
If you have never picked up a Michael Phillips book, you are missing out on so much. His books are not just wonderful works of historical fiction, but many of them are interspersed with deep, challenging truths of the Christian faith.
From Across the Ancient Waters (The Green Hills of Snowdonia) is no different. The book tells the story of Percy Drummond, the only son of a minister in Scotland, who just happens to be from a distinguished line of Welsh aristocracy. Despite the faithful upbringing of his parents, Percy’s heart is hardened against the things of the Lord, and he’s literally hell-bent on going to destruction. In a last chance effort, his parents decide to send him to Wales for a summer, in hopes that the country will change his direction—and his life.
What Percy discovers in Wales does prove to be life-changing. He stumbles upon an ancient mystery surrounding his uncle’s estate, becomes friends with a charming, yet puzzling village girl, and most importantly, finds his heart awakening to the ever-present wooing of his Heavenly Father.
Many of the themes in From Across the Ancient Waters will be familiar to long-time Phillips readers. His respect for another Scotsman, George MacDonald, is clearly evident, and I loved the overtones of God’s redeeming love present all throughout the story. I found myself so thoroughly engrossed in the tale of Percy, Gwyneth, and Florilyn that I actually found myself gasping aloud at one point—-and let out an audible, “OH NO” when I realized that I had hit the last page on my iPad. Needless to say, August 1 won’t get here fast enough for me as I can’t wait to read the sequel, The Treasure of the Celtic Triangle.
Return to Wales with best-selling author Michael Phillips in his latest historical novel. After being sent to his uncle’s estate, young Percy Drummond has no intention of letting the country atmosphere soften his rebellious ways. Then he meets a village girl Gwyneth Barrie and her friendship changes his life. When Percy later returns, his intriguing friend has grown into a young woman. But by this time, Percy has caught the eye of his beautiful cousin Florilyn. . .who has also become Gwyneth’s friend. What will result of their threefold friendship? And what repercussions will his uncle’s surprising request have for them all?
My Favorite Quotes from From Across the Ancient Waters
Humility is the doorway, my friends. It is the door to all healings, the door that leads to our brethren, the door that leads to our sons and daughters and mothers and fathers and our friends…the door that leads to the heart of God.”
“Those who maintain that the threat of hell is the Christian’s most effective tool for evangelism little understand the deepest rhythms of the human soul. Still less do they understand the heart of the Father of Jesus Christ.”