Mindy, by June Strong (Old Favourites #10)

Like lots of Adventist kids I grew up reading the books published by our SDA publishing houses — Swift Arrow is the one that comes to mind since our elementary-school teachers read it aloud almost every year.  My guilty little secret, though, is that these were never my favourite books — they were almost always too truthful, too earnest, too laden with Morals of the Story, and just not as well-written as most of the other books I enjoyed.

June Strong’s Mindy was published by an SDA publisher when I was in junior high and word of mouth quickly touted it as a great read.  It was the one and only book from the Adventist Book Centre that I truly fell in love with, and I still think it’s the best book ever produced by a church publisher (my own books included!).  In fact, it’s the best work of inspirational fiction I’ve ever read, and good enough that it doesn’t need any of those qualifiers.

June Strong wrote the story essentially as a fictionalized version of her grandmother’s life, but she felt comfortable enough to take the kind of liberties that make it a great novel rather than just an earnest churchy story. Mindy is a teenaged girl in rural Vermont early in the 20th century who is trying desperately to recover from tuberculosis. The novel follows her through the rest of her life, most importantly her marriage to the handsome but taciturn Carl.  It’s anything but a romance novel — rather it’s a heartbreakingly honest exploration of a real marriage and a real woman’s struggles with life, love and faith.

When I read Mindy as a girl, it was promoted largely as a cautionary tale to young SDA girls about why you shouldn’t marry outside the faith.  But it’s so much more than that.  Mindy is truly a beautiful story — and a courageous one, too. It was one of the first books I read that didn’t have a happy ending, but that allowed the resolution to be just as harsh and, well, unresolved, as real life often is.  Mindy was well worth rereading and has earned its place of honour on my Old Favourites shelf.

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22 Comments

Filed under Fiction -- inspirational, Old Favourites

22 responses to “Mindy, by June Strong (Old Favourites #10)

  1. Sounds like a wonderful book! I’ve wanted to read it ever since I met my pen-pal Allison, who is June’s grandaughter. I’ve heard she also wrote some new york best sellers.

  2. Alyssa

    Sorry I guess I was wrong about the bestsellers thing.

  3. Olá esse eu ainda não li, mas acabei de ler um do mesmo autor chamado Projeto Sunlight- June Strong, e me apaixonei, é linda a história e tem um romance no meio dela,mas o final é ainda mais lindo…muito mais lindo ainda é sabermos que realmente é algo que vai acontecer.

  4. Judith Hoover

    The first book I have ever read by June Strong was “Journal Of A Happy Woman”! It was so inspiring to me & I have read it many, many times through the years.I have since read many more of her books & I have never been dissappointed. Some day I would love to meet her in person. I am an old woman now with many grandchildren, 18 infact. I have given June Strong’s books as gifts for a lot of years & will keep doing so. I feel she really loves the Lord & encourages others to learn of Him. Keep up tour living testimony June! I love you! Judy

  5. Gail Posten

    I just read Mindy for the first time and was greatly moved. Once I started it I did not want to put it down. I am a 59, almost 60, year old woman but loved the story so much. Wish it had been written before 1971 when I married out of my faith, it may have saved me a lot of heartache. Unlike Mindy, my marriage did not last and I have not remarried.

    I love stories from that time in history, always felt they worked so hard but yet in so many ways life seemed so much better than in this fast paced world we live in today. Seems hard to find the time to sit still and talk and listen to God which we so need to do.

    Since this was written about June’s grandmother, is June the granddaughter, Kate, from the story??? Hope you can tell me.

    Gail from Pennsylvania

    • I’m not sure about that, Gail, although I’ve wondered if June based Kate’s childhood on her own … I suspect so, but I’ve never read anything by her to confirm that.

      • Sandy Milazzo

        June is the granddaughter. I believe in her book Journal of a happy woman it tells you that. It also talks about it in the book “A Little Journey”.

  6. Vi Grauman

    I just happened to get on the computer to see if I could find June & Don Strong so when I clicked their name it came up that June Strong was a Author & had written these books. I haven’t read any of the books didn’t know about them till just now. Is June still alive? Or has she passed away? Back in 1952 & 1953 my husband & hers were in the Army together at Blackstone, Va. We left before they did but had kept in contact for quite some time. We had lived together for awhile while there. So if there would be a chance you could email me & let me know if she is still alive or has passed on I would appreciate it. I will have to get her book & read it. Don’t know about the Website but I don’t have one if that’s what it means. Thank you for your time. Vi Grauman Yakima, Wa.

    • Julie Cox

      Do you remember a series of books about a young girl named Debbie? She became a nurse, but I cannot remember the titles. They were hard covered and blue in color. Thanks, I enjoy your blog. I am a teacher, mom, and wife as well. i LOVE to read.

    • Allison Strong

      Hello, this is the granddaughter of June Strong replying to your question. Yes, my grandmother (June Strong is still alive) Don is not with us however. I would love to be in contact with you if at all possible. My e-mail is horsesballetgirl@gmail.com.

  7. B Knowlton

    Hi Vi Grauman, YES ! June is alive
    here is her address.
    8547 PROLE RD
    BATAVIA , NY 14020
    I HAVE KNOWN HER SINCE I WAS 6 YEARS OLD , AND I AM NOW 78 .
    She has lost her husband in the last few years.
    let me know if you get this ok? thank you. Bk

    • Gordana

      I am fan of June Strong, too. I have read Project Sunlight and now I am reading Mindy. I wanted to make a contact with her. I had wrote to her at this address but no answer. Please do you know her e-mail?

      Gordana from Belgrade, Serbia

  8. I was so glad to find website about June Strong!
    Would love to have some contact with her and tell her how her books have inspired me over the years! I was ready to write to her on the address given above,
    (8547 PROLE RD BATAVIA, NY 14020)but since someone has already tried to contact her at this address, without success.
    Hope someone will be able to send me some information of her whereabouts and address or telephone if possible.

    • I find since posting this review I get a lot of queries about contacting June Strong. Unfortunately I don’t know how to get in touch with her. I don’t think she has email. She is getting older and if people have tried writing her at the address above and not gotten a reply, it may just be that she no longer feels able to keep up with answering mail from readers, or simply doesn’t have time. Just guessing as I have no contact with her other than being a fan of her books.

      • Your comment is much appreciated. I am thinking along the same lines.
        May be we will have to leave her in peace and hope to see her in Heaven and talk to her when we get there! And also to her Grandmother who was instrumental in installing faith in God so strongly!.
        Ruth

  9. Allison Strong

    Hello Everyone,

    This is Allison Strong the granddaughter of June Strong. Yes, she is still alive. She may not be replying to your letters because she has written to so many fans and can’t keep up with them. But if you guys have questions or want me to talk to her about anything I’m happy to do that. My e-mail is horsesballetgirl@gmail.com

    • Thanks so much for sharing here, Allison! I posted this book review quite awhile back but still get comments on it and requests for information about June. Thanks for making your email available to readers who love your grandmother’s work!

  10. Roxanne Pontow

    Mindy has been one of my all time favorite books. I have bought and loved all June Strong’s books. I have tried to find any current information about Strong, but have been unsuccessful. I’ve always wanted to write to her. Do you know if she is alive any longer and how she may be contacted? Thank you for any information! Roxanne Pontow rmpontow @ gmail.com

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