Friday, July 29, 2011

All That Was Promised

Vickie Hall is a new and promising author. Her debut novel All That Was Promised was a very enjoyable read.

From the author's website:
In 1847 Wales young Methodist Minister Richard Kenyon converts to Mormonism. Richard's newfound faith is put to the test as he faces down the anger of his former congregation, his wife's indecisiveness, the betrayal of his brother, and the murderous intentions of misinformed villagers.

I've read a few blog posts about the book that suggest to really appreciate the story I should be either a woman or a teenager. I am neither. So either I'm awfully confused about my gender and/or age, or this book has a larger target audience than previously stated. My wife and I did read the book together. In fact we enjoyed it so much that we took turns reading it out loud to each other and didn't stop until the story was completed.

Anyone, male, female, teenager, whatever, that enjoys LDS historical fiction will be drawn into this riveting tale that follows the life of early Welsh saints. All That Was Promised paints a compelling portrait of what it was like to convert to Mormonism in its fledgling years. Richard Kenyon is the protagonist, but the book follows the lives of several characters. Some that join the church in spite of difficult challenges, some that are extremely antagonistic towards the church through out the tale. Some start off well, but like a seed planted amongst thorns, they struggle with their faith as overwhelming trials and hardships test their faith.

The story and character development is very believable. I yearned to reach out and help those facing tribulations and rejoiced with those that remained true to the faith and were blessed beyond measure in the end.

The story ends with the invitation for the faithful saints to emigrate to Utah. I am hoping that a follow up book will be in the works that continues the characters' stories of what transpired when they arrived, if they arrived, in the Salt Lake Valley.

As a matter of full disclosure, I need to say that the book has several mid-scene POV shifts that did confuse me from time to time as to whose head I was supposed to be in. As this is Vickie Hall's debut novel, I will cut her some slack and place the blame where it belongs with the publisher.

I look forward to watching Vickie hone her craft as a writer, and hope to read more of her books as she writes them.

You can purchase a copy of All That Was Promised here.

Another note for full disclosure. I did receive a free copy of the book so I could blog about it. However, my opinion of the book was not swayed by getting a free copy.