Non-Fiction Reviews, Top Shelf

{Book Review} Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon

“God knows all our wickedness. He has seen all our waywardness; yet His purpose towards us is one of healing and pardon, and not of anger and putting away.”

Susannah Spurgeon

About the book…

Many know and admire the man behind the name Charles Spurgeon, but few have had the sweet pleasure of hearing the story of the woman, who was constantly by his side, Susannah Spurgeon. Ray Rhodes has expertly researched and documented the life of the Prince of Preachers steady and delightful wife. This biography is the engaging, yet factual, story of the woman who captured Spurgeon’s heart and steadied his mind.

About the author…

Ray Rhodes Jr. is a long time Spurgeon scholar. His doctoral thesis was on the marriage of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon. He has been a pastor for over thirty years, and is currently at Grace Community Church in Dawsonville, GA. He and his wife Lori, have six daughters, and four grandchildren.

Some personal thoughts…

This is a book sorely needed in this day and age.

As a young woman in a world where success and worth is found in independence and pride, and weakness is defined by dependency and submissiveness, this story of a humble woman entirely devoted to her Lord was a long drink of water to my parched soul. Why? Because Susie’s dependency is what made her strong, rather than weak as the world would assume.

Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “In order to learn what it means to be a woman, we must start with the One who made her.”** This truth was on display in the life of Susannah Spurgeon, or more frequently called, Susie.

Ray Rhodes has masterfully woven together the spiritual, physical, and romantic aspects of Susie’s life, into one beautiful picture of this devout woman of God. I could not put it down, which is not something I frequently say regarding biographies. I enjoy them thoroughly, but often find the writing hard to follow, or even dry, such was not the case with Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon.

While the book was eloquent, and profound, as a Christian woman like Susie, my appreciation for it goes deeper than just those aspects. Reading Susie, felt like having coffee with a fellow sister. By the time I finished the book, I felt as though I had known her, that she was a dear friend of mine.

“Temptation will be very strong sometimes, but cry unto God; cry mightily and He will deliver you. Something in my heart compels me to say this to you to-day; if you do not feel the force of it now, you will soon; so treasure up my words, darling, and above all, trust Jesus and distrust self.”

Susannah Spurgeon in a letter to her son, Thomas

The difficulties she faced, the spiritual struggles that encompassed her at times, and the ordinary trials of life that she chronicled in her letters and journals, were ones I could relate to in certain degrees. Time and time again though, despite whatever it was she was facing, it was resting in the sovereignty of a good and loving Father that sustained her. This book was a much needed reminder for myself, to rest in Him and Him alone.

I am thrilled to recommend it to men and women alike.

“When the storms come, and our trees of delight are bare and leafless, when He strips us of the comforts to which His love has accustomed us–or more painful still,–when He leaves us alone in the world, to mourn the absence of the chief desire of our heart;– to sing to Him then, to bless and praise and laud His dear name then, this is the work of His free grace only.”

Susannah Spurgeon

Things worth mentioning…

This book chronicles the life of a woman who experienced great suffering. Death and sorrow are no strangers in these pages, but more familiar than even they, is the sweet hope of Jesus and eternal life.

Here at The Corner Shelf you’ll find Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon on: The Top Shelf.

*All quotes, unless otherwise noted, are taken from Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes Jr.

**Quote taken from Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot

3 thoughts on “{Book Review} Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon”

  1. My Susie book arrived this week . I’m thoroughly enjoying this informative & inspiring read.
    Thank you MG for sharing your interview as well as suggesting this new book.!
    Lovingly, Susan

    Liked by 1 person

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