About the book:
Sarah Williams is a young Welsh immigrant, coming to Utah to join her sister Mary Ann Perkins. When the Perkins are asked to join the San Juan mission to pioneer a trail through Southern Utah, they take Sarah along to help care for the children. But a six-week journey turns into six agonizing months of hard work and toil as the Saints blast their way through a cliff to bring their wagons through what would become the famous Utah landmark "Hole in the Rock."
Finally settled in the San Juan, Sarah's true hardship begins when Ben Perkins asks her to be his second wife. With their faith and testimonies challenged to the core, both Sarah and Mary Ann struggle to find the true meaning of Christ-like love and obedience. Will they make it through?
Loved, loved, loved this novel! I couldn't put it down. Tristi Pinkston not only explores the physical struggles of the Mormon pioneers, but the emotional and spiritual struggles they endured. The story is about Tristi's great-grandmother and is based on historical fact. However, she writes it as if she was the one who lived it.
Sarah Williams is a young Welsh girl who immigrates to Utah to join her sister Mary Ann. When Mary Ann and her husband are asked to join the San Juan mission to pioneer a trail through Southern Utah, they take Sarah along to help care for their children. What was to be a six-week journey turns into six agonizing months of hard work and toil as the Saints build roads and blast their way through a cliff to bring their wagons through what would become the famous Utah landmark "Hole in the Rock."
It was so easy to be caught up in the story, to feel the frustration and fear that these good saints felt as they struggled to build roads and cross canyons and rivers, and yet keep their faith that the Lord would provide for them. I had always heard about the "Hole in the Rock pioneers" but I had never completely understood what they went through. I still don't. When I googled "Hole in the Rock" I was stunned. The area is completely dry and desolate. I wouldn't want to 4-wheel in that area, let along do it in a covered wagon. But, faith and perseverance are what characterized these early saints and Tristi has brought forth the compelling voices to share their story.
Once the Perkins family settles in the San Juan, Sarah's true hardship begins when Ben Perkins asks her to be his second wife. Sarah loves her sister so completely that she doesn't want to hurt her, and she initially tells Ben, no. But as she tries to come to understand what the Lord has in store for her, she realizes that it's right for her to marry Ben, even though it will cause pain and heartache.
As I read the story of Sarah, Ben and Mary Ann I was deeply touched. To take a second wife wasn't something that Ben did lightly, or out of a need for power or s*xual satisfaction. It was something that he did because he felt he had been commanded to do it. He knew it would hurt his wife and he knew that Sarah had a difficult time accepting his proposal. However, his desire to be obedient to God, no matter what, was stronger than he was, and ultimately they were all blessed because of it. Tristi has woven these three voices together, masterfully, and the anger, frustration and ultimate humility ring true.
The early Mormon saints practiced polygamy because they believed it to be a commandment from God. Those who did enter into it with a spirit of obedience and love seemed to be blessed, the Perkins family were among the blessed. A definite must-read. You can purchase the book here and here.
Personal copy read 5/08
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