Review of The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White

The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Oh, Roseanna White … why do you do this to me?

Foreword here: I was the hugest fan of White’s. I absolutely loved her books, especially A Name Unknown and A Song Unheard (more on those later.) I still love her writing. But this book was not what I wanted to see from her.

I’m going to start with the positives, because there were many of those. First off, the writing. White has a wonderful writing style – easy to read, but also poetic and beautiful when it’s needed. (Though for some reason, this book didn’t seem as … poetic, I guess, as the other ones. Maybe it was just my mood when I read it, I don’t know.) Anyway. Her writing is amazing. I wish I could write as well as she does.

Second, the characters. I appreciated that Libby was not the Christian fiction woman who has to be sassy and strong and all of that. She was kind of shy, terrified of conflict, and just wanted to be outside doing her thing with plants. Cool. And Oliver … I was expecting him to melt my heart and make me love him. But he didn’t measure up to the ultimate Roseanna White nice-guy character, Peter Holstein. Oliver just fell a little bit … flat, I suppose? I can’t put my finger on what it was. But I did enjoy the fact that he had some flaws (did Peter have a single flaw, that angel?) Oliver’s rivalry with Casek was nice. And speaking of Casek, and Mabena, too … side characters for the win! The rest of the characters were interesting – Mamm-wynn was sweet once I got past the weirdness of her name. Libby’s brother was ok, basic older brother. (Now I’m getting Barclay vibes…) And that Sheridan dude? I don’t know what to think. He was a funny side character, but I don’t know if I can read an entire book with his speech patterns. What will his thought patterns be like??

Finally, I have to mention the setting. The Scillies sound like somewhere I want to go on vacation. They’re beautiful, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set there. The whole thing with the pirate treasure was a little strange – the plot was a little far-fetched. It just seemed a little shallow, I suppose, but then again, I’m comparing everything to her earlier books where there was a war going on and the stakes were much higher overall.

Ok, now to the rant. Much of the moral was this question of “science” and God. Libby thought “science” disagreed with the Bible, and she was caught in the middle. Her two main issues were that people understand science much more now than they did back when the Bible was written, and she also believed in evolution. First off, I was a little confused about this whole “people know so much about science.” She basically said people could understand everything about the natural world. And, true, new things are discovered all of the time, and we certainly know more about science than they did two thousand years ago. However, we are faaaar from understanding everything about the world the Lord has made. Scientists know a lot, but their knowledge is like a grain of sand on the shore. There are so many, many mysteries out there in science that scientists have not solved. (Also, Libby made this comment about how Jesus said we can’t know how a seed grows or something like that, and she found this as a contradiction. I’m assuming she was referring to Mark 4:26-27: “And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.” Jesus didn’t say no one can ever know how a seed grows. He was simply speaking in a parable about a dude who planted seeds and didn’t know how they grew. He wasn’t saying no one could ever understand.)

Then there’s the whole part about evolution. Ok, can we please stop calling evolution “science”? Evolution – the whole 18 million years, everything slowly evolving from literally nothing to the ordered, magnificent world we see today – is not science. Science is observable, repeatable, testable. I’m sorry, but not one scientist was there watching slime turn into more slime and get married and having slime babies. That’s not observable, repeatable, or testable. And no, I’m not talking about microevolution. I’m talking about slime turning into a human over supposed millions of years. That’s speculation. That’s a theory. If you want to believe that, go ahead. I’m not the thought police. But don’t call that science. There are zero instances of non-life turning to life – and that’s the whole premise of evolution, plus a bunch of time to make it so mind-boggling no one can understand it. So please, don’t call that science.

Ok. Back to the book. Libby believed in evolution. And did she read the Bible and see how God said He created the world? Nope. She just accepted that evolution must have happened – because science – and she could also believe in God. No actual looking at what He said He did in His Word. Not realizing evolution presents many problems for a Biblical worldview. (Were Adam and Eve apes? What about death before sin? etc.) Libby just decided to metaphorically have her cake and eat it too.

Now, is that what should be in Christian fiction? I don’t think so. Nothing should come above the authority of the Word of God. Evolution is man’s attempt to get God out of the picture. If we can subtract the Creator, we have no need for Him. If White had wanted to include this struggle between evolutionary theory and what the Bible said, she at least should have presented what the Bible said about Creation. She should have talked about the fact that evolution is a theory – not proven fact. The way she wrote it acted as if evolution was proven to be true, no questions asked. That’s definitely not true. Sticking evolution into Genesis simply undermines the authority of the Bible in a person’s mind. It questions God’s Word. And that is a very dangerous thing.

So, to sum this up … this book could have been very enjoyable. And I did enjoy parts of it. White is a talented author. But I would prefer her keeping out strange, un-Christian teachings from her books. (Also, why does she jump on every social bandwagon that rolls down the street? A Portrait of Loyalty literally had face masks, and as far as I know, this written before corona happened. Maybe she added the whole mask thing in during the corona days; please correct me if someone knows what’s going on there. But that was the last thing I wanted to read about in a book. Then she writes Dreams of Savannah just in time for all of the racial tensions. And now this whole science thing – pitting supposed “science” against anything and everything, and if you don’t accept what scientists say, you’re wrong.) Can I please read a book that’s encouraging, that’s edifying, that’s God-honoring, that’s not pushing a bunch of social issues I have to deal with every day in real life? Thank you. It would be much appreciated.





4 thoughts on “Review of The Nature of a Lady by Roseanna M. White

  1. Wow, this is the first rant I’ve read yet that had this low of a rating…But I do wonder as well what was her intention with the “science” thing?

    And another thing: I had to laugh at the part in which you said scientists weren’t out there watching slime get married and have slime babies. That was hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was so hard to decide what to rate this book – I didn’t want to be unfair just because I disagreed with White, but it’s also my personal opinion and if I enjoyed reading it, so … hard choices. There were parts of the book I did like, but I couldn’t in good conscience give it a 3.5 that would round up to four stars. And yeah, it was just weird that she had to push that agenda so hard.

      Hahaha, I’m glad you got a laugh out of it! Thanks for stopping by and reading! 🙂

      Like

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