Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

The Yankee Officer And The Southern Belle

From the title The Yankee Officer and the Southern Belle, I did not expect a dry, over-spiritualised missionary biography, and I was not disappointed.  It was a pleasure to read this well-paced book with its chatty, every-day style.  It’s the story of how God called Nell and Jack Chinchen to Himself and then sent them to Liberia as missionaries.  Nell writes in such a way that it seems as though she is sitting in the same room with you, telling her life story over a cup of tea.

The chapters are short with enticing titles:  ‘Fireflies in my bedroom’, ‘Dirt, leaves and cow manure’, ‘Flies on the snickerdoodles’, and ‘Gabriel isn’t always an angel’, to name but a few.

Nell comes across as being very real and honest.  She has a way of taking you right into Africa, and the reader is able to see it through her eyes.  She writes with wisdom, warmth and humour, and her love for the people of Liberia as well as her devotion to Jesus shines through on every page.  In some ways, her style reminds me a little of Isobel Kuhn who was a missionary last century to the Lisu people of China.

I would highly recommend this book, which is a breath of fresh air on the missionary biography front.  I suspect it will feature quite highly on my Christmas gift list this year….

I am grateful to Christian Focus for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review.



  1. Mandy,

    Thanks for your wonderful review. Glad that you liked the book so much, you want to share it with friends this Christmas. 😉

  2. Great post, really enjoyed it!
    — Porter

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