Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

May 16, 2012

I've been pondering this review for some time, wondering how I could ever possibly do this book justice. It's been one that I've wanted to read for several years, not only because it's an American classic but because Harriet Beecher Stowe is supposedly one of my ancestors. I expected it to be a bit more of a drudgery to get through...more philosophizing, less story and drama.If you've avoided reading it, then let me just say that, although it's long, you won't be disappointed.

I didn't realize how strongly Christian the book would be, and that was one of the elements I loved best. My very favorite part of the book takes place when Tom has been on Simon Legree's plantation for a few weeks (months? I don't remember). Legree has vowed to break Tom, and Tom has withstood all of the abuse and torture with quiet grace. But his spirit sinks lower and lower in despair. And then one night, the moment of truth comes: he has been degraded to the point that he will either crack or rise above the challenges of mortality. Tom has done all he can to remain kind and human in an unkind and dehumanized world, and it is at this point, after all he can do, that the Savior fills him with His spirit. This part of the book is so beautifully written. I could read it over and over again. Even though Tom is a fictional character, the description of what happens as we endure challenges is real...I've seen it in my own life and in the lives of others.

Anyway, that was a really long description, but just writing about it makes me want to read that part again.

And I have to say, Simon Legree definitely gets the prize for most despicable villain...he is so evil and cruel and demonic he just makes your skin crawl.

This book was not just enjoyable to read...it really did change my life in a positive way, and it will be one that will stay with me for a long time and be read again in the future.

I wrote this review before creating this blog.

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