3.5 stars out of 5.
I traveled to Wales last week. I also time-traveled back to the 1800’s. It was the best of times and the worst of times. The Church of Jesus Christ was just being established, which means the church and all of its new members were also being severely persecuted.
This book is a piece of LDS fiction that will make any of its readers, wherever they may be or whatever they be, grateful for freedom of worship. How many times have you walked into your church without a second thought of mobs forming, or atrocities being calculated against you and your family? Yeah, me too. I have never once had to worry about physical injury. I’ll take the intellectual prejudices any day, over the physical prejudices so many before me have endured.
Vickie’s writing was excellent. She kept the story moving and it was a very quick read. She had great character development and the thing that I may have liked best about her style was her descriptive abilities. I feel like I have actually visited Cardiff, Wales. For instance:
The afternoon sky darkened as an impending spring storm brewed in the burgeoning clouds overhead. The Kenyon’s small stone cottage sat nestled on a small plot of land surrounded by a stacked stone fence built some two centuries earlier.
Don’t you just want to go there in real life?
Here is how the book is introduced on the cover:
An encounter with a Mormon missionary and his unusual message of a “restored gospel” leaves Richard Kenyon, a young Methodist minister, questioning his life’s work when he cannot deny a growing testimony of this peculiar American religion.
What this blurb doesn’t tell you are the parts of the book that I liked best. Perhaps the greatest character was Pastor Kenyon’s wife, who was the epitome of a loving and doting wife, but was torn when she didn’t believe in the choices her husband was making. I loved seeing where the book took her. Kenyon’s business loving brother lives in his own hell with an overly controlling wife and even though he is very smart, he seems so ignorant at how to break destructive cycles. I found myself wishing for a 19th century therapist to save his family. Perhaps the story-line I enjoyed the most was the one of the bar-tending girl. I won’t tell you more about her because it will give away some of the best parts of the story.
The only thing I would change about this book was the predictability in the characters, but I was really happy with the ending. So if I had to take one or the other I would take the perfect ending. Most authors don’t satisfy me in the conclusion, but I was more than satisfied this time around. I even learned a little Welsh.
Vickie’s (the author) Blog
I was given a free copy of this book so that I could review it and tell you all what I thought. And, yes, it never gets old, getting free books to review. It makes me feel important and smart.
Here are some other important and smart people who would love for you to read what they thought of the book.