Book Review: "The Longing Season" by Christine Schaub

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing The Longing Season (Bethany House July, 2006) by Christine Schaub.


Christine Schaub is the author of the MUSIC OF THE HEART series, including Finding Anna, the “rest of the story” behind the writing of the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” (October 2005) and The Longing Season, the story behind “Amazing Grace” (July 2006) with Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Books.

In 2003, Christine won the “On the Page” screenwriting contest at Screenwriting Expo 2 in Los Angeles. Her one-page story, written on-site in 24 hours for Jacqueline Bisset, was selected by the actress as the best Oscar Wilde-type comedy for her persona.

While working in freelance corporate communications, Christine completed three feature-length screenplays, including a drama/comedy, romantic comedy, and sci-fi action/drama; developed four biopic teleplays for the stories behind the hymns; and published an online column for the MethodX website (Upper Room Ministries).

Christine honed her writing skills after more than 15 years in corporate communications for healthcare, pharmaceutical, and entertainment companies. She has also been a featured conference speaker on working with at-risk youth and changed lives in the classrooms with her creative presentation style.

Christine's love for the arts and creativity have taken her from church platforms to civic and professional stages, performing classics and dramas from her own pen.

Christine graduated from Anderson University with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She has served on numerous boards and committees, usually as Communications Chair, and has received both regional and national awards in writing and design.

Behind the Music- Hymn Style

Amazing Grace is one of my favorite all time hymns. Almost everyone knows this tune whether you are a Christian or not. My favorite version is when it is played by bagpipes.
I think I had once heard an Adventures in Odyssey episode that described the story of John Newton (as they did with Horatio Spafford's song). So when I started reading this book about how the inspiration for this song was written I was intrigued. The book was chock full of historical information which I love. The characters are multi dimensional and Mary is a strong character, helping out with the doctor which was uncommon during that time period. Newton's story is harsh as with anything about slavery usually is. I especially found the scene where he I find it interesting that the couple's relationship prior to Newton's leaving was brief and chaste, yet there is a very deep relationship between the two. I really liked the flashback scenes that showed how they first met. The only thing I didn't like was that, even though I knew it was going to happen, was that just when Mary was finally ready to move on, John comes back. I was a bit miffed because Alex was so good to her and was there when she needed someone, while instead she pines away for someone she hasn't seen in years. And then the long lost guy ends up winning, while nice guy is left all alone. Other than that I really enjoyed reading this book. I was surprised to learn that Newton didn't write the last line the song. Ironically I usually only remember the first and last verses when I sing this song.

This book is a great prologue to the movie Amazing Grace (starring Ioan Gruffudd and Albert Finney as John Newton) that is coming out in a few weeks. In fact when I first heard about the movie, I immediately thought about this book. While the movie focuses more on William Wilberforce's character, this book is a prequel to get you into the mood for the movie. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to going back to read her first novel, Finding Anna which focuses on another of my favorite hymns.

The Longing Season by Christine Schaub is published by Bethany House (2006)


  1. Great review! I noticed you mentioned Adventures in Odyssey -- here's some links in case anyone's interested:

    >> Go behind-the-scenes twice a month in The Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast -- FREE actor interviews and more!

    >> Join the discussion at The Town of Odyssey message boards

    -king shasta


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