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Stepping Heavenward

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  6,801 ratings  ·  450 reviews
"Stepping Heavenward" is the fictional coming of age story of a young Christian girl named Katherine. The story follows her life from when she is sixteen, though courtship, engagement, marriage, having children, and the many challenges that she confronts in her adult life. This classic Christian story is told through a series of journal entries by Katherine and is an inspi ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Barbour Books (first published 1880)
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Wendy "If you want someone to hear the truth, tell it to them. If you want someone to know the truth, tell them a story." Eudora Welty
I always thought that …more
"If you want someone to hear the truth, tell it to them. If you want someone to know the truth, tell them a story." Eudora Welty
I always thought that Mrs. Prentiss must have understood this and that is why she communicated spiritual truths this way. (less)

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  6,801 ratings  ·  450 reviews

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Zachary McIntire
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Since I'm apparently the first guy to read this book in recent recorded history, I feel somewhat obligated to try and give it a thorough review. Unfortunately, the fact that I ended up reading it in two parts, over the space about five months, makes that somewhat difficult. Still, I will do my best.

At times, especially in the early going, this approached a four-star read for me. I love character studies, especially ones in historical settings, and since this was of course written at a time conte
Hannah C.
Apr 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christian girls/women AND guys!
a fictional diary from the point of view of a Christian teenage girl who is hot-tempered and overanalytical (sounds like me!)... the story follows her as she truly dedicates her life to Christ, although she grew up in a believing family, and as she goes through life. first love, marriage, family and more... loved this book.

brothers... it's not just a book for girls. if ur interested in figuring out a little of the way the mind of a gal works, please read it. she's so honest with her feelings and
Lydia Howe
I read this book a long time ago, then decided to re-read it after Kate ( mentioned it during a recent blogging party.

Overall I think this book has some amazing points. I especially like the first half, or maybe two thirds. The main character is someone who I relate to on a lot of levels (although I don't get quite as horrified with myself as she does). She learns a lot of good lessons during the books, and therefore it's practical.

Unfortunately, the boo
Good news: If you are looking for a free audiobook, Theresa L. Downey did a fantastic job! It's one of the better Librivox recordings I've listened to.

Bad News: I wanted to love this book so much. I stuck it out to the half-way point but then... I was just so mad. Katie has a lot of faults I loved how realistically that was portrayed. However, when she is hurt or frustrated, everyone just said that she has a problem. The last straw came when her father-in-law says she is to attached to her infa
zane deann

Am I really the only one who wasn't a huge fan of this book?? It was okay for a while. But it dragged... and dragged... and dragged. I WAS SO DONE. And it was kind of preachy and JUST NOT MY KIND OF BOOK. Sorry.

No, I'm not really sorry.
But don't be mad at me, though. xp
Haley Annabelle
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm undecided as to whether I should give this book 3 or 4 stars.
This is definitely one of those books that makes you think. Everytime I sat down to read it, I was thinking about my own life and comparing it to the life in the book. This is one girl's journal chronicling her sanctification. Many quit reading the book before the half-way point but that is before she really starts her upward journey so I would encourage you to persevere to the end.

Reading Stepping Heavenward definitely encourage
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hard to imagine life in a time when so few children lived past infancy that they weren't named until after toddler ages and were only called "Baby".

This fictional journal of a young woman's life begins at age 16 and continues through her courtship, marriage, and motherhood. Main character Kate tells the raw details of heartache, despair, and fear as well as her joys as she seeks to devote her whole self to Christ.
Written in 1869, this is a fictional journal of a young woman--her beginning, doubts, disobedience, growth, marriage, difficult in-laws, children, and her older days--and is still pertinent to women today.

It's good to read a book (the second time) in which the main character, at least in the main, listens to and learns from her mother and other older and wiser people. The main character has a lot of flaws, yet she wants to please God, and slowly grows. I can relate to many of her struggles, so I
Dichotomy Girl
I knew that it was a mistake to read this book. This was one of my absolute favorite books when I was an extremely conservative Christian.

What I thought I remembered: A little more religious Little Women (Or basically, Little Women meets Elsie Dinsmore)

What it was in actuality: Multiple sermons and preachy excerpts manipulated into "diary" entries, all with the express purpose of showing that EVERYTHING happens for a reason ('cause it's all God's plan), and life is so great if you just accept th
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this loads of times when I was around sixteen. Let me just say that most girls will relate with Katherine. Although I haven't read it for several years, this book has stuck with me all that time and I look back on it with a smile. When it starts I felt like I could side with Katherine. She understood how I felt!! But then when she started to change, I began to feel uncomfortable. I soon couldn't relate with her as much anymore.

Turning sixteen is a big deal for Katherine. With it brings u
Katie Ann
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome!!! It is my all time favorite book! I recommend it for every girl 13 and up! You can never outgrow this book! wonderful Christian insight! At twelve years old it shaped my views on girlhood, young womanhood, womanhood, motherhood, life and death. Prentiss is a intriguing writer and she keeps your attention. Though the book was written in a very different time, it very relatable to girls now days. Best book ever! Read it, you won't regret it! ...more
Fantastic! I was brought to tears many times. This novel, written in a journal format, shows the sovereignty of God and the peace that comes in submitting to it. It's a beautiful look at a life spent walking with God.
The library copy I read had many typos. I would love to own the Lamplighter version!

A classic novel.
Tori Samar
How refreshing it is to read a work of Christian fiction that's not simply masquerading as a "Christian" romance novel! Here we have a book that sets out to show the spiritual journey of one woman as she deals with various people and events (often tragic ones) in her life. It's a fictional depiction of someone's Christian worldview growing and developing and coming to bear on every moment of life. I certainly wish I could find more books like these in the Christian fiction realm.

As much as I li
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
To me this book has become as challenging as some of the greatest daily devotionals (think Oswald Chambers) and inspired me to journal for myself not just the happy things of my life but my deepest spiritual struggles as well. There are so many ways that I can relate to Katherine's journey and each time I read it I relate to something new. So many treasures of faith to glean from this book!

One of my favorite passages reflecting the struggle of accepting what Christ has offered us so freely -

Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this book. It was written in a very interesting way through journal entries and I rather liked it.

What I Liked: This was a very real look into the main character, Katherine, known fondly as Kate to those closest to her. I appreciated the 'realness' of it. As Katherine lived to the glory of her Creator, she had ups and downs, victories and losses, strengths and struggles. This book began at her sixteenth birthday, and followed through her late teenage years, and throughout he
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: quit-reading
I didn't feel like I had anything in common with the main character, Katherine. The book begins on her sixteenth birthday and she has a little tiff with her mother on whether or not she should wear her boots out in the snow! I have never seen anyone do that over the age of six.

None of the temptations I face were present in her life, and none of the temptations she faced are present in my life.

I know a lot of people really like this book, and I'm sure they have good reasons. It's just not for me.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book while fictional is a beautiful picture of God's faithfulness in all seasons of life, through joy, death, suffering, and the everyday mundane tasks. I first read this book years ago when I was fourteen or fifteen years old and something about Katherine's impulsive, fiery nature resonated with me. Her willingness to submit her life to God despite her restlessness stirred up a desire in me to do likewise. This is a book every woman, young or old, can enjoy, relate to, and glean encouragem ...more
Rachel Schultz
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read in 2013 and now again in 2018. I look forward to the third read. I think you can get more and different things out of this book every time.
Michele Morin
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“Write what you know.”
It’s good counsel, and, if followed, results in a kind of authenticity that can’t happen if the author attempts to write outside her realm of real-life experience. Maybe that’s why people are still reading Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss, a fictional journal that follows the life of Katherine Mortimer from her first entry at age 16 [“How dreadfully old I am getting!”] to her final entry just before her death.

Like the author, Katherine lost her father at a young ag
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every girl
Recommended to Caroline by: Mom
Shelves: favorite
This is probably one of the most excellent, most encouraging books I have ever read! My mom suggested it to me several years ago, but I just recently picked it off the shelf. Stepping Heavenward follows Katherine Eliot’s life from the age of sixteen until her death as she pours out her soul through her journal. Although written in the 1800’s, the issues she deals with (such as doubts about her salvation, an unruly temper, disrespect to parents, death of loved ones, marriage, etc.) are as relevan ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-story
Wow. I didn't expect to like this one as much as I did. It follows the life of a woman from sixteen on into later adult years. Prentiss is very candid in describing the inner personal struggle that a Christian often faces on their spiritual journey.

If you are a person who tends to use the word preachy in a derogatory manner then this one may not be for you. However, I found it very uplifting. There are lots of little encouraging messages scattered throughout the book, and I thought they were hel
Erika Mathews
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nanoremo-2019
While I read this several times as a teenager, I have been wanting to reread it now that I’m in the season of wifehood and motherhood. It was just as inspiring, challenging, encouraging, and relatable this time around, and I was indeed able to better understand some of Katy’s struggles as a wife and mother. May God work that likeness of Himself in me!

This book is a journey. Katy doesn’t always make the right choices or have the right view of God or herself, and therefore everything she says in t
Lady Jori
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my FAVORITE books EVER! It's a really good book for us girls and our relationship with our mom and how it should look; and it's a good book for what kind of wife we should be to our husbands.I think it's a good book for many things. Like how we deal with hardships and struggles. Do we praise God when he gives as as well as we praise Him when He chooses to take away? Great book for my fellow brothers in Christ to read on how they can be sensitive to their wives. (well when they gro ...more
Amanda Tero
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Stepping Heavenward" is a very realistic journey of the character's life from girlhood to womanhood. As a Christian, I found the points very identifiable. Just like a normal human, Kate struggled to apply Scripture to her life but there were mountain-tops amidst the struggles. As page 109 says, "I am like a child who cannot run to get what he wants but approaches it step by step, slowly, timidly - and yet approaches it. I am amazed at the patience of my blessed Master and Teacher, but how I lov ...more
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a deeply thoughtful book on the life of a young Christian as she struggles to understand what it means to follow Christ. I found this book very encouraging as I could relate with the difficulties and questions about the Lord that life brought to the main character. I found it very edifying and helpful to anyone going through trials.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an excellent read. The heroine reminded me much of myself, so it was a blessing to read about how her Christian walk progressed and to see hoe she grew in the knowledge of Christ.
I'd be interested in reading this again some day after I'm married and have children.
Carol Bassford
Apr 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Spelling and punctuation

I found it was very difficult to read because of all of the spelling and punctuation errors. Not sure if the original version was like this but the Kindle version is.
Loretta Marchize
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
What can I say? This was a school book. (yes, I know it's July. Mom gave us summer reading lists.)

Overall it was a good book, it kept my interest and I did enjoy the story. There were a few typos that I found (pfinstead of of, etc.)
I liked the story and would read it again.
Naomi Brignola-van calster
Nov 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The best book.

Inspiring, encouraging, very human, also very not human, delightfully honest and gentle and pointing ever onward and upward.
Carrie ReadingtoKnow
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was a teen and I remember thinking then that it was "a bit melodramatic" and a hard thing to aspire to. I thought Prentiss was, perhaps, laying it on a little thick.

Fast forward almost 3 decades and I found a whole lot more to appreciate! I have tasted difficulty and sorrow and I understand pain a whole lot more. With more of a tested "faith walk" of my own, I appreciate the beauty of faith in hard circumstances which Prentiss is describing throughout this story. I was ch
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ELIZABETH PRENTISS (1818 -1878) was the daughter of an early nineteenth-century revival preacher and began writing as a teenager. Born in 1818 in Portland, Maine, Prentiss was also the writer of the hymn "More Love to Thee, O Christ." Prentiss died in Vermont in 1878. ...more

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