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“We know him as the writer of the soul-stirring hymn “Amazing Grace,” but as a young man he was a slave trader, naval deserter, and poster child for all things offensive. When God is about to perform any good work, He generally permits some great opposition to it.”

This is how author Annette Hubbell opens the third chapter of her book, which is entitled “John Newton.” Each chapter, as a matter of fact, simply bears the name of one person whose life made an impact on their generation. Seventeen names made the cut. People like Abraham Lincoln, Harriett Beecher Stowe, C.S. Lewis, Aimee Semple McPherson—all have powerful stories once you go past the surface.

This book showcases these stories wonderfully, using the “first-person” narrative to give each story a personal, charming effect. Creative non-fiction at its best.

The first chapter I read was “Aimee Semple McPherson,” because over the past couple of years I had read several biographies on her, poured through video clips and old news clippings on-line. Both my parents came under the influence of her ministry, so it was a discovery journey for me. When I read the “Aimee Semple McPherson” chapter, I appreciated how well researched and clearly articulated it was. Annette Hubbell had done her homework.

The final chapter is entitled “Your Name Here.” She opens it with these words:

“Simple faith. Extraordinary works. With boldness, not arrogance, these seventeen lived lives of purpose, fulfilment and joy. (Joy and happiness are not always interchangeable; sometimes they go together, sometimes they don’t.) And you too can have such a life. It is never too early—nor is it ever too late.”

Indeed. A worthy read!

What others say about the book:

“Seventeen remarkable lives. All uniquely gifted. All world-changers. All shaped by the grace of God. In Eternity through the Rearview Mirror, Annette Hubbell uses creative first-person narrative to bring these characters to life in a way never seen before. This is a fascinating, informative and entertaining book.” Dr. Mark L. Strauss, Vice-Chair, The NIV Committee on Bible Translation

“Annette Hubbell has shown that thoughtful, comprehensive, and instructive history need not be dull. Her blend of lively storytelling and thorough research brings to life a diverse cast of extraordinary figures who, through their testimonies of steadfast courage in the face of society’s obstacles, remind us that History often lies at the intersection of the personal and the structural.” David Miller, PhD, Department of History, University of San Diego

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