Title: The Courtship of Sarah McLean
Author: Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Castleberry
Major Themes: Courtship, Godly Relationships, Singlehood
Synopsis: Sarah, a nineteen-year-old, longs to get married and have a home of her own—but when time passes, and no one comes to claim her, can she learn to contentedly wait for the Lord’s timing?
The Courtship of Sarah McLean is both challenging and thought-provoking. Although it isn’t written as a pleasure read—more of an instructional read—I found it interesting and encouraging.
Sarah longs to be a mother, directing her own household. She loves her family, but she also struggles with discontentment. In many ways, she feels ready for marriage—her cooking, cleaning, and child care capabilities have been steadily growing for years. There are days when she feels that she has given her all of her wants over to the Lord, and then she begins to struggle again. She wonders if she can ever be completely happy until God will give her a husband and children.
Through encouragement from her mother, Sarah learns that she isn’t the only one who struggles with discontentment this way. Then, a new family moves into the area—with a young man close to Sarah’s age. Will he be the one the Lord wants for her? Can she wait patiently on the Lord to reveal His will in the situation?
This story is not very fast-paced. In some ways, it is hard to get through. I really appreciate the fact that this is a “real” story, though—even though the characters and events are fictitious, the subjects dealt with in the story are very relatable. I very well sympathize with Sarah’s doubts and fears—ones that plague me daily, too. Through Sarah’s eyes, however, we can also see God’s mighty power in working everything out—and that’s what makes The Courtship of Sarah McLean shine. Experiencing these real-life events this way give us a deeper view of who God is and how He works in our lives—and how, even through our deepest fears, He can bring true joy.
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above