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Speak to Her Kindly [Paperback]

By Jonathan Rainbow (Author)
Our Price $ 18.69  
Retail Value $ 21.99  
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Item Number 116229  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   424
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.14" Width: 6.06" Height: 1.09"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2003
Publisher   WinePress Publishing
ISBN  1579215904  
EAN  9781579215903  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Germany, 1534. Paulus has lost his wife Marga to a fanatical cult. She's tired of persecution, tired of running, tired of turning the other cheek. Tired of being a peaceful Anabaptist in a violent world. She wants to fight back In Munster, Marga can fight back. The Anabaptists there, led by their fiery prophet-king Jan Bockelson, have conquered the city. Bockelson leads through visions, charm, and terror. The pitiless prince Franz von Waldeck surrounds Munster with his army, grimly determined to have it back. Bockelson promises victory. The saints will slaughter their enemies and then Christ will return. But the city is doomed. Paulus goes to Munster to win his wayward wife. Starvation begins. Bockelson's reign of terror tightens. And Paulus is faced with a terrible surprise that shakes his loyalty to Marga to the core. Will this marriage, and this love, survive the holocaust of hunger, terror, lunacy, doubt, and bloody vengeance? Speak to Her Kindly. A story of Christians in the turbulent 16th century. A story of fanaticism, faith, terror, endurance, peace, and love. Jonathan Rainbow has a Ph.D. in Reformation history. He teaches History and English

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [79254  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical   [11224  similar products]

Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Bit of Everything for Everyone  Oct 24, 2003
Speak to Her Kindly provides a bit of something for everyone. For the historian, there is history; for the theologian, there is theology. For the romantic, there is romance; for the sadist, there is sadism. And, for the combative skeptic, there is the unbelievable.

Paulus watches helplessly as his wife, Marga, mentally and physically extracts herself from him. She is through with the pacifism practiced by Paulus and so, embraces Jan Bockelson's movement; she establishes herself in Münster, leaving her husband behind. When Paulus enters Münster in search of Marga, he witnesses the madness that has swept over the city - polygamy, starvation, fanaticism (factual happenings). He has come to reclaim his wife, but finds that she has already been claimed by another. Unwilling to give her up, but equally unwilling to disregard his mentor's dogma of celibacy, he searches for a solution, for truth.

Essentially, Speak to Her Kindly is a novel about faith and endurance. Even though the tale is based in the 16th century, it provides a lesson applicable today. But, it is not simply a story to learn from, it is a story to enjoy.

Better than Fiction  Jul 16, 2003
One of my favorite genres is the historical novel and I've read many. "Speak to Her Kindly" succeeds at seamlessly blending historical truth with colorful- yet fictional- personal characters. In his preference, Jonathan Rainbow succinctly describes the gist of his novel: the most outrageous elements are historical truth while the most touching and intimate elements are the author's fiction. Don't skip the preface as it is a glimps into the novel itself--"The prince-bishop Franz von Waldeck and his captains-historical. The military events and their dates and results-historical. The religious ravings, the trances of Bockelson, the communism, the polygamy, the promises of cobblestones turning to bread-historical. Bockelson really had 16 wives. Bockelson and his two henchmen were tortured to death as described and their bodies hung in iron cages on St. Lambert's Chuch until the 1880's. The cages are still there..."

As the fanactic (and historical) Jon Matthys led 12 men to attack a seige force of 500 trained combat soldiers, I wondered what he thought just before he was sliced up. The author leaves some room for the reader's imagination about history. On the other hand, the love between Paulus and Marga is vivedly described. It is the engaging concern for the well being of these two fictional characters couched within the incredible non-fictional setting of history that captivated me.

An intriguing read, leaving me wondering how such things can actually happen.

Gary Fischer, San Jose, CA

Amazing Story  Jul 15, 2003
"Speak to Her Kindly" held me all the way through. I was taken by the story's fascinating portrayal of a time and place so far--and yet not so--from all of us. Jon Rainbow's use of history here is remarkable. He brings us into a world of religious persecution, as well as religious fanaticism, sparing little on either side and striking a balance that is noteworthy. What's equally interesting is his use of an somewhat obscure biblical story, that of Hosea, to frame the novel's central narrative.

Even though the historical circumstances of the novel are likely known to very, very few potential readers, the psychological and spiritual dimensions of the novel transcend the history. It's good for believers to be reminded that faith torn from reason isn't faith at all. Rainbow's novel makes very clear that fanaticism, in whoever's name it is undertaken, is still, undeniably, fanaticism.

But, finally, the moral of the story is faith--persistent, humble, self-denying faith.

"Speak to Her Kindly" is quite a read.

Interesting, Thought-Provoking, and Riveting  Jun 15, 2003
Before I began to read Speak to Her Kindly, I imagined myself plodding through a flat, boring book, similar to those found in history classes. I was wrong. Instead I found an interesting and exciting story, full of suspense, love, fighting, painful loss, and incredible gain. I encountered passion: the religious fervor of the Anabaptists, the powerful love between a husband and wife, a passion for what is right and true, and a deep love for God.
The book starts out at a running pace; from the first page to the last, interest is never lost. There is always something happening physically, emotionally, or theologically, to keep the reader reading. The situation in Münster crackles with energy and the relationship between the two main characters, Paulus and Marga, also burns with nervous tension. The reader is wonderfully transported throughout various parts of Germany, to places that sparkle with realism and description--description that never drags on too long or hinders the plot.
The theological beliefs present in this book cannot be ignored, either by the religious or non-religious; both can learn from them. The Anabaptist Paulus believes in peace; the Bible tells him not to fight. And so he must choose: a choice between serving God, or forsaking his belief in defense of people he loves. Marga also struggles with the Anabaptist theology, but in different ways. To hold to one's beliefs despite the risk of pain, to hold to what one knows is true, to be faithful both to God and to a spouse. These are central conflicts, which warrant some pondering.
Yet the author does not go so deep as to lose those not well-versed in Christianity. The conflicts and theological ideas presented may be hard for some to resolve, but they are not hard to understand; a large pill not easily swallowed still may be understood to be a pill, fighting a certain disease and containing certain ingredients.
As for the historical aspect of the book, the author presents factual information in an interesting way-through the development of the story. Meeting and getting to know the historical figures in the story, such as Münsterite king Jan Bockelson, prince-bishop Franz von Waldeck, and military commander Wirich von Dhaun hold the reader's interest. These men are not presented merely as names, but are personifed and given life. The author takes us inside their minds, revealing thoughts and emotions, all the while without losing the interest of the reader.
The aim of a good book is to entertain by providing an interesting story, within which are contained views and ideas the author wishes to convey. Speak to Her Kindly succeeds in doing this. The reader is taken on a journey through history, through Germany, through Münster, and through the thoughts and the heart of Paulus. The book entertains, and at the same time encourages the reader to take a step back and reflect on what he or she believes. It contains moments that can inspire tears, and moments of joy; it has somber, serious moments, but also moments of humor.
But like any book, one must read Speak to Her Kindly for himself before forming any opinions about it. A review cannot describe everything about a book, and this one is no exception. I encourage you to read this book for yourself and then form your opinions, not the reverse; you will not be disappointed.
A Book that made me nod my head and say "Yes"  Jun 8, 2003
"Speak to Her Kindly" is a book with many layers. There is a lot of historical background and real figures and facts interspersed with the fictional characters, but what I liked best was the way that relationships rang true. Paulus and Marga share a beautiful love story, one worth reading because it echoes every love story. Each must learn to live with the shortcomings of the other. As one character says, "Every man must marry a sinner." Every spouse neds to learn to forgive and to seek forgiveness. Also, the Christians in this book are solid. They are just as confused as people today, but they trust God and his plan. This book seems to raise issues that are hardly considered issues anymore. It shows pacifists willing not only to be evicted, but tortured or killed, rather than fight back. It shows faith battling appearance. It shows a man loving and seeking his wife even after she has abandoned him, and the most people would release him from his vows. And it shows a picture of God's love for his church, even when she tries to run away.

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