Books and Reading

Binge-reading – books by Francena H. Arnold

Lately, I have been binge reading books by Christian author, Francena H. Arnold. She wrote during the 1950s and 60s. 

Arnold… “was a schoolteacher, a talented storyteller, mother of four children, and author of ten novels. Her first, Not My Will, was originally written “just for the eyes of the family” and has since sold more than 500,000 copies. Her other novels include Then Am I Strong, Three Shall Be One, Brother Beloved, Straight Down Crook Lane, The Road Winds On, Fruit for Tomorrow, and Light in My Window. Raised in rural Illinois, Francena lived with her husband, Frank, in the Chicago area.”

(Biographical detail courtesy of Moody Publishers) 

Francena H. Arnold passed away in 1972 at the age of 84.

{An} obituary in the Moody Press Tips newsletter said: “In her own distinctive style, the author established a relationship with her readers through the conflicts, trials and complications of the characters. These are not just dramatic adventures, however, instead the accounts are realistic interpretations of the sufferings and joys of human nature and how Jesus Christ becomes the answer to loneliness and confusion.”

I read these books as a teenager and found it fun to revisit them. These books however, are not just “fun” they are quite meaningful.


Although they were written so long ago and the style is a tad old-fashioned, these books are powerful stories dealing with the many struggles we, as Christians, face. Arnold deals with themes of: surrender, dying-to-self, health issues, love, loss, and service. She crafts compelling stories well and they can be heart-rending, so prepare to have tissues nearby. 

Writes with passion

Arnold writes with passion and presents a Christianity that is not watered down. Her books invariably present a clear picture of coming to know Christ and having a relationship with Him. Reading them often leads to challenge and self-examination for the reader. We look at our hearts and examine the attitudes we hold. Can I say, “not my will,” amid the difficulties of my life? Do I offer “ my body as a living sacrifice,” to Him, knowing He knows best? Do I surrender my relationships and their outcomes to my Loving Lord?

If you are interested in travelling back in time vis-à-vis stories of years past and, love a good read, check on Amazon or wherever you like to buy books and pick up some titles by Francena H. Arnold.

My favourites are:

“Not My Will

Eleanor, an accomplished scientist, enters into a secret relationship with Chad putting her at risk of losing her inheritance. Tragedy comes and Eleanor must deal with the heart-breaking consequences of her decisions. A great read!

“Three Shall be One”

The marriage of Pat and Tony is thriving in spite of initial difficulties. The arrival of Tony’s controlling mother sets in motion a chain of events that seems to end the marriage forever. Twists and turns will take you on a fascinating ride.

“Then Am I Strong.”

Joanne, is an orphan is filled with many fears and terrors. She finds a loving companion in a close friend/ like a sister to her, helping her through the crises of life. When Nona must leave, Joanne finds security in her relationship with Dave. But difficult circumstances set her adrift in uncertainty and she must find One in whom her security rests.

If you read one, pop back in the comments and let me know what you thought, or if you have already read any of Arnold‘s books, I would love to hear your thoughts!


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