(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

In Gilbert Morris’s Edge of Honor, the protagonist, Quentin Laribee, a physician in his late twenties, practices surgery in New York City during the 1860’s. Quentin’s peers admire his medical skills. Colleague Les Simmons envies Quentin’s personal life and complains to friends that Quentin is unworthy of being engaged to Irene Chambers, whose father, Dr. Oscar Chambers, has designated Quentin as his successor to his flourishing New York City practice.

Quentin lives with his younger sister, Hannah, who is permanently lame because of an injury. After their parents died when they were teenagers, Quentin and Hannah raised their younger siblings. Because they endured many struggles and deprivations together, Quentin and Hannah loyally nurture each other. A pious woman, Hannah frequently reads her Bible and consults the Reverend Horace Pettigrew for spiritual advice. She dislikes Quentin’s fiancé, whom she considers a frivolous, manipulative woman who does not love Quentin but craves the affluent lifestyle and societal position he will assure her.

Unimpressed by wealth, Quentin does not comprehend why Irene wants him to wear fancier clothes, buy an expensive house, and dine with the elite of New York City. He prefers to devote his time to helping people who need medical assistance regardless of their financial status. Conscientious regarding his profession, Quentin dislikes other physicians’ aloofness to their patients, incompetence, and greed.

Quentin enlists in the Seventh New York Infantry during the American Civil War. Assigned to hospital duties, he befriends orderly Jim Peters, a former cook who tells Quentin about his plan to earn money raising pheasants and rabbits to sell to steamboat companies after the war. Quentin confides to Hannah that he believes God helps him, relating how he prayed during a soldier’s surgery, saving the man from an injury that other surgeons thought would be mortal.

After leaving the safety of New York for Fort Stedman at Richmond, Virginia, Quentin finds himself in the midst of combat when enemy troops attack. Half-blinded by dirt raised by an exploding shell, Quentin sees a Confederate soldier approaching and fatally shoots...

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(Literary Essentials: Christian Fiction and Nonfiction)

Sources for Further Study

Butler, Tamara. Review of The Virtuous Woman, by Gilbert Morris. Library Journal 130, no. 2 (February 1, 2005): 64-65. A review of the thirty-fourth novel in the House of Winslow series by the prolific Morris. Sheds light on some of the author’s Christian values regarding women.

“Gilbert (Leslie) Morris.” Contemporary Authors Online. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale, 2007. A short biography of Morris that discusses and lists his numerous works.

Morris, Gilbert. How to Write and Sell a Christian Novel. Phoenix, Ariz.: Write Now Publications, 2000. English professor and Baptist minister Morris discusses development of diverse Christian themes, characterizations, and plots for realistic, moral storytelling.

Pellegrino, Edmund D., and David C. Thomasma, with editorial assistance from David G. Miller. The Christian Virtues in Medical Practice. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1996. Discusses Christian physicians and how their faith shapes their practices, discussing compassion, selflessness, love for all patients, and trusting God. Provides scriptural examples.

Publishers Weekly. Review of The Exiles, by Gilbert Morris and Lynn Morris. 250, no. 5 (February 3, 2003): 55. A review of the first in the Creole series, written by Morris and his daughter. Notes the prolific and formulaic production of books by this author, to the pleasure of his reading public.