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Hand on the Bridle Review by Nancy Mayes

Kathleen M MacLeod
Lampligher Publishing
Lamplighter Ministries International

Our family read aloud time is a treasured pastime. We are always on the search of a good, hearty, worthy books to read aloud to our children (11, 8 and 6). I have noticed that as of late, our reading library has been growing with several Lamplighter Publishing books. I guess the old adage is true in our home: you can never have too much of a good thing!

Our most recent family read aloud was a 192-page novel written in 1933 by Kathleen M MacLeod, Hand on the Bridle, that retails for $22. This was a lovely story of personal triumph by yielding to the hand of God in one's own life.

Gavin, a young man in his teens, is full of will and stubbornness. His widowed mother determines that it would be best for him to move away to live with his older brother, Jim. Jim is the Padre, or church priest and greatly resented and misunderstood by his willful younger brother. Although against his wishes, Gavin relocates and settles in to school.

He initially takes some delight in pushing the boundaries placed before him by Jim, such as his curfew time. As Gavin befriends the neighbors being raised by their elderly grandmother, he finds it rather easy to embrace their more lenient, unstructured lifestyle. It is not long before his defiance lands him on a train ride back to his mother's home. Initially he is thrilled to be out from under his brother's thumb when he begins to realize his folly and figures out a way to return to Jim's and own up to his ways. This turning point is where the story really begins to unfold. It is wonderful to walk with Gavin as he begins trust in Jesus as his savior and Master, whose hand is on the bridle of his own life.

This story, although almost a century old, is just as relevant today. The names change, the settings change and even the experiences change; but ultimately one must learn to own up to and face their folly and surrender to Jesus, allowing Him to be the hand on the bridle of their life.

Our young children may not have been able to read this story on their own, but they had no problem following along as we read it together. Some of the language is uncommon to our way of speaking but there were footnotes educating us to the meaning of unfamiliar words.

We thoroughly enjoyed this story and have equally enjoyed watching our library grow with timeless pieces by Lamplighter Publishing.

-Product review by Nancy Mayes, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2017