Precious Jewels: A Seventh-Day Adventist Family Saga
Publish Date: 2011-04-21
Author: Debra Anne Wintsmith
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I would rather kill my daughters than have them brought up Adventist! So says Jtun Holt after Edson White thundered down the Mississippi River on his steamboat, Morning Star, on a mission to win Southern blacks to the Seventh-Day Adventist religion. The most unlikely convert south of the Mason-Dixon line is Jtun's wife, Carolina Pearl Holt, the beautiful daughter of Mississippi planters. Jtun is a newspaper writer for the Yazoo Sentinel, a paper that seethes with racist writing. Jtun and Pearl have recently lost their infant daughter, Una Pearl, to a mysterious illness which has now afflicted their new baby. Terrified that she is about to lose baby Ruby, Pearl takes her servant's advice to let the Seventh-Day Adventist doctor from the Morning Star treat her child. The Adventists heal Ruby with a combination of hydrotherapy, diet and prayer, and the young mother embraces the Adventist lifestyle. So begins the saga of Pearl and Jtun Holt, and their daughters, Ruby and Grace. Pearl and Jtun divorce. Then they reconcile, only to split up againand again. Ruby and Grace grow up, torn by their parents' drama, while committed to their mother's beliefs. The girls become schoolteachers who fall in love with Yankee schoolteacher brothers who dislike each other, and the legacy of complicated love and scandal continues. Precious Jewels is a down-to-earth, honest portray of a family who are real, flawed human beings. Their lives are far from easy, yet they hold themselves to a higher standard and cling to their faith in Jesus through it all.