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Book Review: Against the Tide: The Valor of Margaret Wilson by Hope Irvin Marston

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How does a young martyr mature and become a girl who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to? Hope Irvin Marston in Against the Tide shows us how in this wonderfully written historical novel.  

This is a story about a brave girl during a tumultuous time in church history in Scotland.  Margaret Wilson is heartbroken because of the death of her friend, Finley. Finley was killed by a dragoon. King Charles II has taken the throne and claimed to be the head of the church. He demanded that the people attend his church only.  

Margaret wants to stand up for her faith. Her parents want to attend the King’s church in order not to make waves. But Margaret vehemently disagrees. She believes that God is telling her to go another way. Margaret believes that people should be able to worship who they want without outside pressure. This path is risky for her and may put her family at risk. But Margaret is determined to do what God wants her to do.

Marston’s book teaches girls many pretty valuable lessons. One of Marston’s messages is that adolescent girls should go after what they think is right if they feel that it is the right thing to do, even if others are angry with her.  A second message for girls is that they don’t have to follow the crowd or what others think is right for them. They should follow their own hearts.  

Marston’s book is part of the Chosen Daughters Series. It can be used for educational purposes as well and should be part of every high school curriculum. She does a great job conveying this time in 17th century Scottish history and how people lived. One will feel transported into the life and times of Margaret Wilson. The reader will also learn a lot about church history. Further, the book is a great example of how an adolescent girl could be strong and determined even if she is faced with a lot of obstacles and diversity. What a gem of a book for teen girls!

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  • Hope Irvin Marston

    Thank you, Irene, for your perceptive review of AGAINST THE TIDE. I can see you understood what I was saying. I was impressed with Margaret when I first heard about her from the inscription on her gravemarker in the kirkyard in Wigtown. I had the privilege of leaving flowers there on the 325th anniversary of her death.