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Straight Talk about "The Scarlet Thread"

Updated on September 1, 2009

The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers

What a big disappointment

Warning: spoilers in this review

What a terrible disappointment this novel was. In particular, the ending. Sierra Madrid has the handsome husband, the kids, the gorgeous home, the works. Her husband up and tells them – no warning, zero consideration about her and her feelings – that they will leave the place she grew up in. They will move themselves and their children and the parents she adores to another city because it will be great for his career.

He never asks. He just orders her to do it and he expects her to consider HIS feelings and career. She does make the move, but makes the marriage pay all the while, her husband becomes more and more successful and treats her like a door mat in retaliation. He has an affair and leaves her high and dry with barely a look back. He’s a demeaning, mean, nasty man – and I didn’t for even a MOMENT see why Sierra fell in love with this jerk in the first place.

As a Christian, I know that divorce should be the last choice. But her husband files before the ink is dried on the papers. She never had a choice, her husband NEVER considered her feelings about anything even remotely. He’s verbally abusive and I’m supposed to believe that regardless of this, because she gets back in touch with her Christian faith, she suddenly realizes she’s attracted to her husband despite herself?? AND that a gorgeous, rich, considerate boss who is totally in touch with his feminine side, yet is all man, falls madly in love with her and he WON’T be her choice? No woman of flesh and blood could POSSIBLY turn down this sweet boss-man and turn TO an abusive man even though Rivers uses her animal attraction for her husband as the first glimmer of how she goes back to him. I don’t THINK so. I know this is possible - as all things are possible through Christ -- but I never bought it. Ever. Not for a moment. In fact, despite the fact that God hates divorce I wanted Sierra to divorce the no-good jerk! I was waiting for something, anything to make me believe that Sierra would leave sweet boss-man and return to the abuser - but I got nada!

Francine Rivers is a great author, but this was not one of her great books. Not by a long shot. Forgiveness through Christ can absolutely work a miracle in anyone’s heart, I know this. God can restore even the most broken marriages. I know this too. I know it and lived it. However, there must be evidence of a transformation in BOTH hearts in order to believe there was a happy ending to this story. There was no evidence of anyone having a heart change other than Sierra and I didn’t even buy her heart change given her change didn’t actually start with her heart really…if you catch my drift.

I’d skip this one – don’t waste your money. There are other more believable love stories out there, this isn’t one of them though.


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    • cjv123 profile image

      Carol 7 years ago from Michigan

      Chris - I'm so sorry about your loss. Divorce is like a death and you must still be grieving and I so appreciate you leaving your very, very touching comments here. And before I continue - I want to thank you for your service to the country.

      I didn't make myself clear in the review and I regret that.

      I am in no way endorsing divorce simply because one spouse or the other is a jerk. I'm very sorry that it came out that way.

      What I didn't make clear was - Francine Rivers didn't make the storyline plausible enough for the reader to see a progression where it would be possible for Sierra to fall in love with her husband again. As i remember -it took a whole book to describe her husband's abusive, demeaning adulterous behavior. Even when he realized he made a mistake with another woman, he was still manipulative and controlling. Then in the span of a few pages Sierra suddenly has an epiphany that she's still in love with her husband? It didn't fit. There was no real progression. A woman that beaten down, that emotionally abused would have had to come a much longer way for her to fall madly in love with her husband again.

      My criticism was based more on the way the author Francine Rivers wrote the story and the characters than it was with regard to divorce. The Bible is very clear about divorce and adultery is the only time one can divorce in God's eyes. I agree with you and I'm so so sorry that you are hurting so badly.

      I do not endorse divorce. My comments were with regard to the style the author wrote the story. I am opposed to divorce, yet Rivers made the character almost like a monster - then he moderately changed and only when he saw his wife was interested in someone else. So her husband wants to start a reunion based on jealousy and bing she falls right back in love with him? Even though his character changed very, very little? I wasn't buying it.

      I do hope your heart can heal and through Christ you can find peace so that it will be well with your soul.

      Again, I'm truly sorry about your loss. But we are actually in 100% agreement about divorce - I just wasn't clear in the review.


    • profile image

      Chris 7 years ago

      On second thought, I want to make sure to mention that I understand your desire for this woman to find a better life than the one she is living. Marriage is difficult, as you know, but especially when one's spouse is a bad spouse...

      I haven't read this book, but I did read "Redeeming Love" several times and everytime I cried like a baby through the whole thing. My wife left me over a year ago and the divorce was final this summer. I am an officer in the United States armed forces, and have often considered myself to be strong, but I have never felt so much pain and felt so helpless in my entire life. I would not wish divorce on anybody. Even though she is not perfect and has done some really horrid things, I am also not perfect and by God's standard's I am equally horrid. Even with all of the difficulties we had, I would conquer the world if it meant having the woman that I love back...

      Anyway, I just wanted to give some context to my comments. I don't want to come off as legalistic, but given my experiences and what I see in the Bible, although separation might be in order at times, I will never suggest divorce to anyone, ever, ever, ever... it has torn my life apart. =(



    • profile image

      Chris 7 years ago

      Thank God He doesn't wait for us to change before He loves us... =/

      "despite the fact that God hates divorce I wanted Sierra to divorce the no-good jerk!"

      The fact that you want something that God hates might be a good indicator of whether you are more closely aligned with Him or this world.

      I am not judging you, because I find this to be true all too often (more often than not sadly) in my life, but we should at least know it so we can ask Him for help with it. I appreciate your prayers for me as I struggle with these things as well.