The Gold Thread is a beautifully bound, hardcover book in which several short stories are compiled. These were all written from the late 1800's through the early 1900's and are replete with lovely, black and white Victorian pictures. Each one so accurately enhances the simple lessons of faith the author seeks to encourage. Some of the authors are unfamiliar to us and yet others are well-known, such as, Johanna Spyri, author of Heidi, and Frances Havergal, writer of the hymn, Take My Life and Let It Be. Norman Macleod, author of The
Gold Thread, actually was writing his story for his own children as an allegory, not unlike Pilgrim's Progress. The
Gold Thread represents perfect obedience to the father's will. When the young prince, Eric, wanders into the forest, he encounters many trials and temptations. He foolishly thinks he can let go of the thread and easily grasp it again after he has done as he pleases. He shortly realizes this is not so and seeks it again with deep repentance, but not until many difficulties come into his path. He faces them each with kindness, truthfulness, and fearlessness. He even has an opportunity to tell the story of his kind father (representing His Heavenly Father) to a young robber boy who later repents and seeks to live a righteous life also. Once the Gold Thread is rediscovered, he must trust his father's will explicitly and never let go of it again, even when it passes inches away from a ferocious lion and a tempting woman offering needed hospitality. He ultimately arrives at his father's castle where a feast is being prepared in his honor and all rejoice that the "son was lost, but is found!"
This character-building book can be used by any family in the home as an encouragement to grow in godly behavior. Though there are lovely pictures, it is not a picture book per se, to be read to the very young. As soon as a child is able to focus and listen at any length, this would be a great tool. The stories are short and broken up in smaller sections to be read little bits at a time or all in one sitting. It would work great as a bed-time story book or read after family Bible reading and prayer.
I always enjoy these stories of faith written long ago when innocence, honor, godliness were extolled. All my children were raised on these and we often go back and retell the stories to encourage one another in righteous behavior. My general word of caution is that we should never read such stories nor communicate to our children that to do the right thing gives us merit before God. Only trusting in Christ's perfect life and sacrificial death on the cross does this. Many of these stories leave this out, perhaps assuming that the general culture of the day understood this.
I recommend this book for any who long to have godly examples before their children and want to encourage right behavior and the joys of obedience.