Finding God in “River Farm”

The Meadow at River Farm Alexandria Virginia

I am very proud of the simple fact that my novel, River Farm, is written from a Christian worldview. Yes, it is a romance, but it is a Christian romance, an inspirational romance, and I make no apologies for what it is. In writing this story I hoped to show the powerful and redeeming nature of love, despite the trials of life.

In choosing to make River Farm primarily a love story I want to show that God’s love for us determines everything else in life. To affirm that God is present and that He is working for our good even when we can’t understand the process or know the outcome.

My story explores the themes of love, home and family through the experiences of its two main characters, James and Catherine, each with a painful and complicated past. It proclaims the paramount importance of a place to call our own—home; and people to love—family. And it shows us that through God’s grace we can find these gifts anywhere if we only look through willing eyes with an open mind and an open heart.

After experiencing great loss and calamity, and amid the suffering and degradation of war, James loses sight of the perfect promise of God’s love. He becomes cynically convinced that love leads only to pain, and standing firmly in the way of his own happiness he decides that marriage is not for him. Instead of embracing the wonderful gift of love that God has given to His people, James sees the emotion as a burden and a means to sorrow and despair. He has forgotten that God has promised an “always” more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

Catherine, too, has experienced great loss and betrayal yet she possesses a fierce and steadfast belief in God’s goodness. When the life she knew is suddenly gone, her fear of a future she cannot see, control, nor even imagine leads her to rely more completely on God, even as she fears He has become somehow less accessible to her. Catherine’s idealism and optimism propel her to begin the painful and frightening process of starting over again, and her faith is rewarded when she finds the life God always intended for her.

James Craig and Catherine Abbott are empathetic, and reasonably likeable characters and I hope that readers will care about them and root for them. They are people of morals who embrace their Christian religion frankly and discuss it openly. Faith informs their decisions and adds a depth to their relationship that could not exist otherwise. My characters rely on God for guidance, comfort and help. In times of misfortune they may question why bad things happen, but their faith is strong and always leads them back to God and, eventually, to each other.

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