Hidden Rainbow

HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW

Book: Hidden Rainbow

Author: Christmas Carol Kauffman 

Illustrator: Allan Eitzen

Publisher: Moody Press, republished 1963

ISBN-13: 978-0802438072

ISBN-10: 0802438075

Language level: 1

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Teens and adults

Rating: ***** 5 stars 

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Category: Historical fiction

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

Disclosure:  Many publishers, literary agents, and/or authors provide free copies of their books in exchange for an honest review without requiring a positive opinion.  Any books donated to Home School Book Review for review purposes are in turn donated to a library.  No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

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     Kauffman, Christmas Carol.  Hidden Rainbow (Published in 1957 by Mennonite Publishing House, Scottsdale, PA; republished in 1963 by Moody Press, Chicago, IL).  It is in the early 1900s, and John and Anna Olesh are a young married couple who live in the solidly Catholic village of Miletinac, Serbia (later Yugoslavia), in the Blue Mountain region east of the gorgeous Dinaric Alps.  As their family grows, John leaves for America to seek better economic opportunity.  While he is away from home, Anna fearfully accepts a “forbidden” New Testament from a traveling evangelical missionary and begins to read it.  Then on one of John’s trips to America, World War I erupts in Europe.  How does their encounter with the New Testament affect the Oleshes?  What kind of reaction do they receive from relatives, neighbors, and friends?   And with the war going on, will John ever see his family again?

     It is noted that Hidden Rainbow is not an imaginary story dug out of antiquity but an actual account about real people.   While some may not agree with every aspect of the book’s theological position (e.g., born in sin, saved by faith only), it does well illustrate the importance of seeking for truth and being willing to suffer for one’s faith.  Anna is given this wise counsel by the wife of her missionary friend.  “If we had no trials, no troubles, how would God test our strength and genuineness?  God is allowing this for a purpose and He must get the glory to Himself because of it.   Why were good men like Abraham and Noah and Paul tested and persecuted?  Why wasn’t life always easy for them?  Their glorious characters stood out by the way they met their troubles and trials.”  Good advice indeed.

     The only negative comment that I noticed was from a reviewer who said, “This book is, essentially, an anti-Catholic diatribe with colonialism for good measure.”  In fact, it is, essentially, a slightly fictionalized version of true events.  Author Carol Kauffman did not invent anything but simply reported that the Catholic authorities did what they did and said what they said, so how can that be “an anti-Catholic diatribe”?  And “colonialism”?   That’s a laugh!  The Protestant missionary was a Hungarian, also an Eastern European.  While the writing style may be rather stilted, the book is well written with high morals.  Anna is an extremely inspiring example who displayed her faith in God in the face of persecution while her relatives and village were all against her during the hardships of World War I.

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