The Scarlet Thread

by Francine Rivers

Paperback, 1997



Call number



Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (1997), 462 pages

Original publication date



Fiction. Literature. HTML:From the New York Times bestselling author of Redeeming Love and The Masterpiece comes the powerful story of two women, centuries apart, who are joined through a tattered journal as they contend with God, husbands, and even themselves. Sierra Madrid's life has just been turned upside down when she discovers the handcrafted quilt and journal of her ancestor Mary Kathryn McMurray, a young woman who was uprooted from her home only to endure harsh conditions on the Oregon Trail. Though the women are separated by time and circumstance, Sierra discovers that many of the issues they face are remarkably similar . . . and uncovering Mary Kathryn's story may help her write the next chapter of hers. "Rivers tells a powerful story of marital love tested in a crucible. Your hankie will not be dry, nor your heart unchallenged, as the characters learn the lessons of surrender to God's sovereignty and unconditional love." �??Romantic Times Also available in The Francine Rivers Historical Collection (e-book onl… (more)


RITA Award (Finalist — Inspirational Romance — 1997)


Original language


Physical description

462 p.; 8.5 inches


0842335684 / 9780842335683



User reviews

LibraryThing member pensofhonor
Another excellent offering by Francine Rivers. She takes us on a journey from the present to the past and back again as the herione, Sierra, discovers a diary written by one of her ancestors in an old trunk. As Sierra reads the entries she receives help with a problem she has. Ms. Rivers books are
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very well written and always have a very powerful ending.
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LibraryThing member Brandie
I did enjoy this book. The first half seemed slow, but I did eventually get into it and then I couldn't put it down!
I will admit, and maybe this makes me very cynical, but I thought the ending was probably pretty far-fetched as to what might actually happen in real life. But still, I did enjoy the
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book a lot!
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LibraryThing member silva_44
Not nearly as good as Redeeming Love, Rivers explores the brokenness that so often occurs in modern marriages, and the mighty ways in which God can rectify and heal relationships that don't seem salvagable.
LibraryThing member ruthjoec
Tonite's read was another Francine Rivers' novel, The Scarlet Thread which is about two women in the same family, several generations removed. The modern day one is reading the journal of the one from the 1800's. The book begins with the modern day woman's life undergoing huge change and it ends
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with her seeing the hand of God in all the pain she underwent during the course of the book. My only beef with the book is that the main character's husband is Catholic (nominally so only in most of the book) and she is Protestant (only nominally so during most of the book) and of course it is a church that helps her get her life back together. When she and her husband talk after that point she make a point of saying she doesn't want a priest to get between her kids and Jesus. Also her husband mentions that he has been to confession, but it isn't until later that he accepts that he is forgiven....Basically it was a good book. I will say one difference between Francine Rivers and many other Christian fiction writers is that her characters do end up in bed together, and their kissing isn't always chaste--but this isn't a bodice buster romance.
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LibraryThing member MeeShee
A very uplifting novel told by a divorcee' coming to terms with her ex, and to god. Two stories - one of a relative making her way into the plantations, and that of a modern day woman going through a separation, the scarlet thread is a very religously uplifting novel, it will keep you reading from
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page to page. I loved this book and I finished it within a few days. The novel is a quick read, easy to understand and relate to whether or not you are going through spouse problems.
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LibraryThing member yosbooks
An enjoyable read. The emotions of both Sierra and Alex were well described so you empathised with both characters through the break up of their marriage. The story of Mary Kathryn through her diary was also interesting and well told. Both stories are tied together at the end as both women find God.
LibraryThing member CoverLoverBookReview
A fabulous spiritual read. I've never been disappointed in any books by Francine Rivers.

After her marriage dissolves, Sierra finds solace in the diaries of her ancestor, Mary. The scarlet thread binds the two, though they never met.

A very good book that was hard to put down. A strong, powerful
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ending that won't let you down.
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LibraryThing member pef
Excellent book. Read it twice now. I love the way Francine Rivers takes the bible and makes a fictional book out of its truths into our 21st century world. But I have to agree that her book Redeeming Love is still my favorite.
LibraryThing member silentalker
this is my best francine book.
LibraryThing member GrannyNanny
I really enjoyed this book! Two stories in one. Sierra and Mary Kathryn had a lot in common even though they were seperated by many years, but they were related! They both were very forgiving, much more than I am, especially Sierra taking her husband back after all the terrible things he did to
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her, adultery being the worst. She did have her faults and did contribute to the break-up, but I was upset when she took him back. I have read other books by this author and I'm looking forward to reading The Mark of the Lion Series.
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LibraryThing member lifespringworc
Two women, one of the nineties the other a young pioneer on the Oregon Trail, are joined through a tattered journal as they contend with God, husbands, and themselves, until they find their true love.
LibraryThing member nancynova
from innae's bookbox; nice double story. In current day, Sierra marries her high school love, and buries herself in raising her family. But she and Alex grow apart, after a move away from her hometown and into high profile Los Angeles. She moves her kids and herself out of the house, after her
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husband's affair was revealed. On the Oregon train, Sierra's ancestor chronicles her journey with her husband James, dealing with the death of her child, some of the wagon mates, and later her husband. What is to become of these two women and how is the Lord's hand shown in their lives? Will send this one along for the Kairos book table
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LibraryThing member olegalCA
I believe it's always difficult to maintain two separate plotlines throughout a book and somehow link them together. Rivers manages to accomplish this - I had an equal interest in both. She presents a very realistic scenario of two marriages troubled and destructive and manages to bring the story
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to a close in a believeable way. I've always loved all her books but this one deserves special mention.
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LibraryThing member sparkleandchico
I had high hopes for this book due to having enjoyed The Atonement Child and And the Shofar Blew, however, I was disappointed.

There are two stories which are meant to be running parallel and presumably woven together. But, they don't actually fit with each other and could easily be extracted from
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the book and told independently. The first story is about a gradually declining marriage leading to an affair and the other is told through the journal of a girl that used to live in the first couple's family home. I lost interest in the second story about halfway through the book so skipped over the remaining journal entries. I have read a number of books with two storylines and they really need to either be properly entwined so the reader has to read both or both as intriguing as each other. These were not.

This book was far too long. I am aware that this is a Rivers trait and actually the books that I have previously enjoyed were also long but held my interest.

The main characters were both selfish particularly the husband. The author is clearly making the point that it takes two to cause problems in a marriage and that blaming each other rather than working towards reconciliation is not the Christian response. I agree with this to a certain degree. However, I feel that she goes too far--the husband uproots his family against the wishes of his wife to pursue his selfish dreams. He forces them into a materially wealthy social group that she isn't ready for and begins spending more and more time at work, he ignores her requests to discuss things, his behaviour just gets worse and worse.....I won't ruin the storyline but I think in this case the author has unfortunately made a case for women to allow themselves to be treated like doormats. AND then to take all of the responsibility for the problems.

The Christian message was also somewhat lost. Some of the characters experience something of a conversion which seems to be about falling in love with Jesus rather than understanding the truth of the Gospel. There is no clear repentance or turning away from sin although the characters do refer to changes due to their belief in God. There is also a section about God being found through Catholicism (as well as Protestantism)--it almost reads as if we can get to God any way we like as long as we are sincere. It is not clear that the only way is through Jesus and His death on the cross.

I didn't read the part about a character suggesting that someone who had died may have been saved without knowing jesus due to being sincere which I read in another review...I would have objected to that as well.

I don't recommend this as it is so long and full of arguing back and forth. I wouldn't describe it as profitable or edifying. In a way it reminded me of the Christian movie Fireproof which I do recommend. But in both I don't think the heart issues will be as easily resolved in real life as they seem to be in fiction. The only good point the book made really was that giving up on a marriage isn't the solution and that all things can be worked through with God's help.

There is no bad language, very limited non-graphic violence and some romantic scenes which are not graphic but may make some uncomfortable.
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