This book tells the story of two people, born in poverty, who found each other and married in a world at war. They brought up and educated a family, but while their two sons were still very young, the father, a strong man who had served for twenty-five years in the army in India, developed the symptoms of Huntington’s disease. This cast a deep shadow over the family as his condition deteriorated over the next twenty-five years, but their faithful experience of God’s love and their deep love for each other gave them the strength and sense of purpose that brought them safe to the end, a meaning expressed in the words of Mother Julian of Norwich:
“Do you want to know what our Lord meant in all this?
Love is his meaning.
Remain firm in this love.
In this love our life is everlasting.
All this we shall see in God without end.”
Love is His Meaning is a rewriting, as one book, of the events portrayed in Stranger on the Shore and This Life of Grace, both of which captivated readers. This new book has allowed the author to draw together into one volume the separate stories of his parents and of their families, before they were married, the story of their marriage and of his mother’s long life after his father’s death. This treatment, of parallel lives, gives a picture of life in our country over the whole of the twentieth century, allowing the reader to grasp what a devout Christian life was like for many ordinary families and working people in those years.
John Symons is a historian. Reviewing A Tear in the Curtain, Michael Bourdeaux, founder of the Keston Institute, Oxford, wrote “This is the history of Russia, but in a form that you will not have read before … objective and intensely personal. It tells us more in a few pages than many more formal accounts by historians manage in a whole volume.”
“John Symons has brought out an amazing book about his family in Cornwall and Devon called Love is His Meaning. It is a deeply spiritual book showing love through faith, and at times in grinding poverty. I could not put it down.”
Marilyn Fountaine, Poet
Reviews of John Symons’ previous biographies:
“The quiet courage of a family in dire adversity could not be better demonstrated – John Symons describes the tragedies that struck at the heart of a poor but devoted family. Humanity and the valour of the human spirit shine from every page.”
“It is a very moving narration of the course of a family’s life, menaced but not cowed by a truly terrifying hereditary illness. This is a unique kind of writing, with particular appeal to teenage readers who want to get an idea of a way of life that is past, as well as to those who can recall those times. Reading it was an experience that I was very reluctant to let go of, and I was bereft when I finished it. The writer has a very special gift.”
5* Reader review on Amazon