Do you enjoy a good story with compelling and memorable heroes and heroines? This monthly column features homeschooled characters in literature and film. Wish you had your own copy of the book or movie? Just click on the product image or text links to go to the author’s site or Amazon to buy it!
The Courtship of Sarah McLean was written by Stephen Castleberry and his wife, Susie. The couple has raised their eight children (all homeschooled) on a 100-acre working farm in northern Wisconsin. They also run a publishing company, Castleberry Farms Press.
The main characters in The Courtship of Sarah McLean are a homeschooling family. They are committed followers of Jesus Christ. The oldest daughter, Sarah McLean, is a 19-year-old girl who longs to become a wife and mother. She is getting anxious for someone to court her and is having a hard time trusting the Lord to bring her a young man in His own time.
This book chronicles a period of two years, in which Sarah has to learn to fully trust her parents and God in their decisions for her future. The reader will be encouraged to heed parental advice and to live in obedience to the Lord. The Courtship of Sarah McLean was written to encourage the active involvement of parents as young adults seek a mate. Conservative Christian values are emphasized by the authors. All scripture references are from the King James version of the Bible.
One interesting thing about this story is that the Castleberrys purposely avoided describing any of the characters’ physical characteristics. A note from the authors states, “Believing that God works on the heart and not on outward appearances … we want to encourage ourselves as well as other Christians to see people not as the world sees them, but as God sees them.” This also lets you imagine the characters any way that you want to.
Even though The Courtship of Sarah McLean (Courtship Series, Book 1) may seem like an old-fashioned story, it was published in 1997 and is available to read on Amazon Kindle. The second book in the series, titled Jeff McLean: His Courtship, is written from a young man’s perspective and focuses on Sarah’s brother as he seeks God’s direction for his life. There are two more books in the series: Journey of the Heart (written by Jeannie Castleberry) and Waiting for Her Isaac.
These courtship books were primarily written to be read by teen youth from ages 13 to 17, to help them establish their own standards and patterns of thinking for godly relationships in the future. They also make good “read aloud” material for the entire family. Though the books have a strict view of biblical courtship, the authors acknowledge that “there is not just one process or way in which courtship could work and we hope you won’t base your courtship expectations solely on our book.”
As a side note, Stephen B. Castleberry earned a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Alabama in 1983. He is a Professor of Marketing in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, University of Minnesota Duluth. Dr. Castleberry has published over 45 journal articles, is the co-author of Selling: Building Partnerships, and is the past marketing editor of the Journal of Applied Business Research. Dr. Castleberry also enjoys outdoor activities and for ten years he served his community as a firefighter and engineer in the Lakeside Volunteer Fire Department.