Sunday, July 26, 2009

In The Company of Angels by David Farland

In The Company of Angels by David Farland

As I have two ancestors from the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies, I was excited to read David's manuscript of this horrifying, yet courageous and heartbreaking story. With the early Saints selling their homes to come to Zion in 1856, there were some that had to come by handcart. Due to unforeseen delays, mostly caused b y the Crimean War that caused delays in ships to sail from England, that when they arrived in Iowa, they found no handcarts made. This delayed the Saints even more. One of the sub-captains of The Willie Company attempted to get the Saints to wait for a season to embark on such a long and hard journey, especially with the late start. The main body trusted Captain James Willie, mostly because he'd traveled the trail fifty times.

I liked how David had the three main Saints telling their story in each chapter, bringing it more up close and personal. Eliza Gadd, a proud English 41 year old, was the only non Mormon in The Company, though her husband, Samuel, and their older children were. Due to her father being seduced by fakirs and spiritualists, she didn't believe in God. She felt during the trek that all the Saints were fools. Since she was apparantly the only nurse in the Company, she attended to everyone's needs.

Captain Willie tried to keep the Saints together and healthy. He was a very compassionate man, praying to God for guidance all along the way. He totally had his people at heart, only thinking of them and their welfare. He did start having his doubts that God was listening to his prayers, but he never gave up, even assisting several children and women across a freezing creek when his own legs were frozen.

Baline Mortenson, a young ten year old Danish girl, did all she could to keep up the spirits of everyone in The Company. She assisted approx 20 children several miles up Rocky Ridge, even so much as pulling a handcart herself. Her parents had sent her alone to make the trek, but then, some parents did just that, to save money, until the rest of the family could come later.

This is a huge faith-promoting story, filled with faith, love and hope and a strong Testimony of The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Willie Handcart Company had to weather storms we couldn't even fathom or dream of, such as sub-zero temperatures, Indians, floods, buffalo stampedes, utter starvation, blizzards, etc, I can't recommend this historical novel enough. It is a wonderful, heartbreaking, faith-promoting, Testimony building true masterpiece!!!! You'll need a ton of Kleenex, so be prepared. And, this is my kind of book to read, especially since this happened and it happened to two of my ancestors. This book is due out on 1 Sep, so you'll need to go to and order your copy. I plan to, as I want my own special hardbound copy.

Forever Friends Rating A VERY HUGE 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

Published Sep 2009 by David Farland
0615300537 (isbn13: 9780615300535)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Doris Day: The Untold Story of The Girl Next Door by David Kaufman

Doris Day: The Untold Story of The Girl Next Door by David Kaufman

As I have always been a huge Doris Day fan, it was surprising to read of her troubled chilhood with a father who was very cold and distant, hrdly ever home. Her parents divorced when she was 13, and her mother was the domanating force that got her into singing on the radio, then in the movies. It was very surprising, also, to hear of her obsessive compulsive disorder and that she didn't like performing in public, due to stage fright. The author interviews family, friends and others to get more details about Doris. She didn't like her last name that her first band leader gave her. The author also quotes a lot of passages from her autobiography, that does seem to have some inaccuracies. The author gives details of each movie she made, which does seem to be too drawn-out, as this book is way too long with very thin pages, which makes for longer reading time. My hubby and I have been watching a lot of her movies, enjoying them immensely. She is still the number one movie actress of all time. She was a quick learner, but never thought she was good enough, always wanted to have a happy married home life, which she never got, being married 4 times. If you enjoy biographies/autobiographies, you will enjoy this one.

Forever Friends Rating 4 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: June 2008
ISBN-13: 9781905264308

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Free Men And Dreamers Vol. II: Twilight's Last Gleaming

Free Men And Dreamers Vol. II: Twilight's Last Gleaming by L.C. Lewis

In this second volume of Laurie's magnificent story of Our beautiful Country and the courage and bravery of a few families looking to God to help protect a young America, we also find treachery thwarting Jed and Hannah's every footsteps. With the British coming closer to The Willows, Jed's home, and where a traitor lingers to ruin Jed's life and all he holds dear, he turns to God where he finds the answers to his troubles. While Jed agonizes over where Hannah and her sister Beatrice are, they are attempting to get to Stephen Mack's home in Tunbridge, Vermont and wind up battling a Typhoid epidemic.

While the Earl of Whittington tries to protect his young son from traitors, a kidnapping is prevented, but a murder ensues, causing more heartache and blame. A family secret that connects Jed with a British family causes more heartache for Jed and his sister Frannie, when a stranger is caught on Willows land by Frannie. When she and Jed learn of his identity, she feels betrayed, but Jed feels relieved. When Jed's friend and overseer of his plantation, Marcus O'Malley, leaves to go see his family he hasn't seen in years, he stays, finds the love of his life in a young blind woman and helps repair a ship to fight the British. Beatrice has decided to go to Canada to see about her husband's release from prison, but is waylaid. Dudley has turned to God and is helped by a woman in bringing books of poetry to him, then is sent to another prison in Nova Scotia.

In the last paragraph of this volume, Jed sums up what we as an American people need to understand and that if we don't look to Heaven, we won't understand God's plan for this great Country.

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

Publisher: Covenant Communications, Incorporated
Pub. Date: May 2008
ISBN-13: 9781598113792

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Free Men And Dreamers Vol. I: Dark Sky At Dawn by L.C. Lewis

Free Men and Dreamers Vol I: Dark Sky At Dawn by L.C. Lewis

When Laurie asked me last week if I'd done my review of this remarkable series, I felt bad, as I'd not read or reviewed it yet. I had bought our good friends this first book for mowing our 1/3 of an acre and knew they loved historical novels, so when they read it, they had three of three of their six daughters read this volume, then one daughter borrowed my Vol II and they all loved this series just because I knew they loved historical fiction. This volume starts off with Jed and Frannie Pearson's life on a large Maryland Plantation before the War of 1812. We see how shocking some plantation owners treated their slaves, even with having them in shackles during the selling period. Even though Jed and Frannie and their parents treated their slaves like family, a few still felt like running to feel more free.

Some of the high society folk thought they were above the law at the time and would stop at nothing to get their older children to do their unsavory bidding like The Stringham Family who lived on the neighboring plantation of The Pearson's. Jed loved Hannah Stansbury, his childhood friend, but had to keep his feelings hidden on account of an old family secret that caused hatred by Hannah's mother, Susannah. When a crisis occurs with Frederick Stringham and his father, Frannie, who is attacked by a spy, she is ostrcized by the community and seeks solace at a Boarding School. When Hannah's sisters attempt to come between Hannah and Jed, they believe its for the best, even to setting up a suitor they think is better.

I really like how Laurie weaves a little-known person into the story by bringing the Restoration of the Gospel to the forefront of this remarkable epic saga. Captain Stephen Mack, Lucy Mack's brother, befriends Dudley Snowden, another Captain and Hannah's brother-in-law and thus tells him how Our Country is being guided by God and that America is the Home of the Free and The Brave and will fight for its liberty and will even sacrifice their lives to keep America free. I just started reading Vol. II, Twlight's Last Gleaming and will eagerly await Vol III, which comes out in Oct. Bravo, Laurie!!!

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

Publisher: Covenant Communications, Incorporated
Pub. Date: February 2007
ISBN-13: 9781598112580