Steal Away Home is a very different and informative book to read. Authors Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey spent a great deal of time researching Charles Hadden Spurgen. During their research, they came across the name of Thomas Johnson, a black slave from Virginia, who developed a friendship with Spurgen. The story of how their divergent paths crossed had never been told before.
The authors, through extensive research, were able to get into the head and emotions of both Spurgen and Thomas, making the reader believe every word, if not actually said, certainly could have been said and thought. This is historical fiction at its best.
Some novels drag along and I just want to finish them but not Steal Away Home. I didn’t want to put it down and at the end, I wanted to read more about Charles Hadden Spurgen and the moving sermons he gave. His was a heart for the lost, to the point where he felt burdened by the image of souls not saved. I got a sense at the end that this mighty influencial man of the 1800’s was a humble man who knew he was a sinner but above all else, he was saved by the work of Jesus Christ.
Thomas Johnson was also portrayed with the same depth as Spurgen. I could feel what it must have been like to long for physical freedom from slavery only to discover true freedom is for our soul through Jesus Christ. President Lincoln’s proclamation of freedom for slaves allowed Johnson to pursue his dream of going to college to become a missionary to the lost in Africa. How Charles had a hand in making this happen and the two, one a famous preacher from England and the other a freed slave from America, became good friends is truly a friendship only God could have orchestrated.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a well written and compelling historical fiction portrayal of Charles Hadden Spurgen and Thomas Johnson.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from B&H Publishing in exchange for my honest review.