Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Season of Sacrifice
Recently I finished reading Season of Sacrifice by Tristi Pinkston (critically acclaimed author of Nothing to Regret and Strength to Endure). I first based on the lives of the author’s great-great grandparents. At first I was a little nervous. Everyone has a great story somewhere in their family, but an entire novel’s worth? Diving in, I immediately liked how Pinkston put the location and date at the beginning of the chapters. I felt grounded from the beginning as the story opens in 1867 Wales.
Ben Perkins is a young coal miner who is saving his money to immigrate to America. But weeks before he’s set to leave, he courts Mary Ann, who he promptly falls in love with. He has to leave her behind but writes her frequently—through another person since he can’t read or write.
Almost three years later, Ben has saved enough to bring the rest of his family to America, including Mary Ann. What unfolds is a tender love story set against the background of the rugged terrain of Utah.
Next we meet Sarah, the younger sister of Mary Ann. Through several unfortunate hardships, her family makes the choice to leave Wales and travel to Utah—hoping for a fresh start and reunion with Mary Ann. In Utah, Sarah struggles to accept the unfamiliar surroundings and live in the Mormon culture (of which she has yet to convert). But her trials multiply when she agrees to travel to San Juan with Mary Ann and Ben and help establish a new Mormon settlement. When Sarah is faced with the prospect of becoming a second wife in a plural marriage, her faith is shaken to the core.
The story was exciting and kept me reading without hardly putting it down. When finished, I read the chapter notes and was very surprised at how little the author embellished the general events. Here was a true family saga that could be made into a novel, keeping a picky reader hooked until the very end.
This book is for sale several places on-line, but you can get an autographed copy through the author’s website: www.tristipinkston.com