No Graven Image by Elisabeth Elliot
New York : Harper & Row, 1966. Hardcover. 244 pages ; 21 cm. $3.95 dust jacket with firm binding and unmarked pages.
No Graven Image
A NOVEL BY ELISABETH ELLIOT
Margaret Sparhawk, twenty-five years old and long dedicated to the ideal of missionary service, settled among the Quichua Indians in the high Andes of Ecuador to bring them the message of her faith. She knew, in theory, the difficulties she was likely to face, but she was young, confident, sincere. How could she fail?
Making inroads among the primitive mountain people proved painfully slow, but Margaret was stubborn and persistent, and at last, through Pedro Chimbu and his children (while his wife watched suspiciously from the corner of their hut), she learned their language, told them of her beliefs, began to translate the Gospels.
Then came a medical triumph (the white senorita delivered a feet-first baby and it lived!) and the word spread. The Indians who came to her classes and her clinics were open to other persuasions as well.
But nothing in her sheltered life had prepared her for the shock of finding out that she, as well as the Indians, had much to learn. An innocent act, a terrible tragedy—and Margaret faced her God and herself in a final testing.
Readers of this moving and dramatic novel will find Margaret's story absorbing and provocative. And in the questions it gives rise to—of ends and means, of high motive and unforeseeable result, of the obligations a benefactor really assumes—there is meaning for everyone whose sense of life requires service beyond the self.
ELISABETH ELLIOT was born in Brussels Belgium, of missionary parents, and she studied in schools in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Florida. She received a B.A degree in Greek from Wheaton College in Illinois in 1948, and then undertook linguistic and Bible studies in preparation for missionary service.
In 1952, she went to Ecuador to work with the Colorado Indians of the western jungle. She married James Elliot the next year and joined him in his work among the Quichua Indians of the eastern jungle. They had one daughter, Valerie, who was born in 1955.
In 1956 Jim Elliot and four other missionaries—all young, all married, all fathers except one—ventured deep into the Amazon jungle to seek out the almost legendary Auca tribe, and were murdered by them a few days later. Two years later Elisabeth, together with Valerie and Rachel Saint, a sister of one of the dead missionaries, went back to live with the tribe that had killed her husband. Thereafter she returned to the Quichuas, and finally, she came back to the United States for her daughter's education. She now lives in Franconia, New Hampshire, and continues her writing.
Her notable books about her husband's story and her own, Through Gates of Splendor, Shadow of the Almighty, and The Savage My Kinsman, have sold more than half a million copies. No Graven Image is her first novel.
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