Today I’m participating in the Blog Tour from I’m A Reader, Not A Writer for Journey of Promise by Vickie Hall.
Journey of Promise is the second book in the series, but can be read alone too. I was originally going to review both books, but I didn’t finish the first one in time for this review, so I’m only going to review Journey of Promise. My review is under the description below. . . .
Journey of Promise
When converts Richard and Leah Kenyon leave Wales and heed the call to Zion, they are unprepared for the toll exacted by the journey. To face the incredible odds mounted against them they call upon the Lord’s tender mercies to see them through and strengthen their love for one another. Their story will remind you where to turn during your trials.
Mommy Bookworm’s Thoughts: I LOVE historical fiction. I also love historical non-fiction, but historical fiction books seem to pull me into the story instead of just giving the facts like non-fiction books do. When I read historical fiction books, I often feel like I’m right there with the family or people in the story more than just an account of what happened (unless it’s a biography). Growing up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have also always loved pioneer stories. My mother joined the LDS church when I was a baby, so I don’t have pioneer ancestors but I have always loved hearing the stories of the pioneers and things they went through to move West. Although I grew up in the LDS church, I still had to go through a time of conversion myself where I had to decide whether it was the path I wanted to follow in my own life. Therefore, I love hearing about other people’s conversion stories and seeing how they have changed their lives. This book series is a combination of the conversion story and the pioneer story, so it is very intriguing to me! Although it is fiction, it is written in such a way that it could have truly happened this way with a real family. I felt a part of the lives of the Kenyon family and felt their sorrows and joys through their emotional, spiritual, and physical journey from Wales to The United States and from the East to the West. I don’t know if the author is planning more books in this series, but I would be interested in reading more into this family, or even more of this type of story again! These books are not as detailed as The Work & The Glory series by Gerald Lund, which is another LDS fiction series (that also has non-fiction mixed in with it), but these are great for a quick overview of the LDS church and what life would have been like for pioneer families.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Her heart thudded in her chest as she turned and walked up the gangway. Richard paused and looked back to say something to the Saints, but she didn’t stop to listen, making her way onto the ship. She stood on the deck of the steamer as the autumn breezes blew cool and damp off Cardiff Bay. Her heart knotted as she looked out over the pier, hoping against hope that her mother might come to say good-bye. I don’t want to leave . . . I can’t . . . this is home . . .
She pressed her lips together and choked back tears as her eyes scanned the fringes of her native village. Her gaze rose to the hills, still green, to the sky awash in clouds, then down to the surging bay. The smell of briny water filled her nostrils and the call of seabirds cried overhead. Leah closed her eyes, attempting to etch the pictures in her mind, and called upon her memory to remember Wales and never forget.
Richard slid his arm around Leah’s shoulders. “ ’Tis hard, I know,” he said as if he could read her mind.
His touch gave her a sense of reassurance. She could feel his strength lending itself to her, lifting and carrying her beyond doubt. Richard kissed her temple and held her as the ropes were loosed from the moorings. She turned to him, her eyes burning into his. “Let me look at you, Richard.Let me look to you and our future. I cannot bear to watch us leave . . .”
She buried her face against his chest. Richard encircled his wife and held her as the steamer pulled away.
In 1847 Wales Methodist Minister Richard Kenyon converts to Mormonism. Richard’s newfound faith is put to the test when he faces the anger of his former congregation, his wife’s indecisiveness, his brother’s betrayal, and the murderous intentions of misinformed villagers.
Mommy Bookworm’s Thoughts: I didn’t finish reading this book because I wanted to make sure I had time to finish Journey of Promise since it’s the newer book. However, now that I’m done with Journey of Promise I’m going to go back and finish the first book because what I did read was very interesting and pulled me into the life of the Kenyon family.
Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she’s not writing, she’s composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
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