Steal Away Home opens in 1841 when Spurgeon is a lad of 7 and concludes with his death in 1892. Authors Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey hit many highlights of Spurgeon’s life and ministry without glossing over the physical ailments and bouts of depression which often plagued him. Having recently read a biography about the “Prince of Preachers,” I believe how this book differs is by stressing the humility of Spurgeon as well as the beauty of his marriage. Both Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson appear to have been married to their perfect helpmates, and as a woman, I enjoyed these two portraits of Christian marriage.
Through this book, I was introduced to Thomas Johnson. It was interesting to learn how Johnson’s first heard Charles Spurgeon’s name mentioned at a public burning of the preacher’s books and tracts. His later pursuit of missions and attendance at the Preachers’ College boasted of God’s goodness and provision. As the title of the book states, their friendship was “unlikely” given their geographical, economic, and educational backgrounds, yet they overcame all of these obstacles by finding unity in Christ. Furthermore, they could commiserate with one another over suffering while praising God with their very next breath. What joy and comfort can be found in Christian friendships!
Overall, this story was insightful and inspiring. It didn’t possess as much dialogue as other historical fiction novels I’ve read, but I did feel a connection with these people. Looking back over the quotations I earmarked, I did notice a number of my favorites happen to be the words of Susannah Spurgeon. I’m curious to know if they can actually be contributed to her or if Carter and Ivey birthed them out of their own imaginations. Regardless, Steal Away Home is a fascinating read that will appeal to a broad Christian audience.
**I received this book free as a member of the B&H Blogger program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”