Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Book review: Season of Sacrifice and a contest

I'm really excited to be talking about Tristi Pinkston's new book on my blog today. I've known Tristi for four years--every since my first Storymaker's conference, and you'd be hard pressed to find a nicer person out there--fairy wings and all. She's also a versatile writer, a home schooler, and dedicated blogger.

I admit, though I’ve had Tristi's historical novels Nothing to Regret and Strength to Endure on my list of must-reads for several years now, I haven’t gotten around to reading any of her books until Season of Sacrifice. Have I ever been missing out!

The beginning of the book is fast paced with great dialogue and descriptions, pulling you into the scene of a mine cave-in from the beginning. This glimpse into the life of Ben Perkins is a sign of the man he becomes, and the faith that directs his life as an adult.

Several years later, Ben is a young man, preparing to emigrate to America, leaving behind his family and sweetheart Mary Ann Williams. Before leaving, he extracts a promise from Mary Ann to join his family when they came to America. He struggles to learn English and to fit into the new world as he works to save the money to send for his loved ones. After Mary Ann joins him in America and they are married, the focus of the story turns to her much-younger sister Sarah, and the struggles her family, who still lives in Wales, goes through over the next several years.

After several difficult years, Sarah and the rest of the Williams family join Ben and Mary Ann in Utah and Sarah agrees to help the married couple with their children as they make the journey to form a new settlement in San Juan. The trip is long and arduous, lasting six months instead of the expected six weeks as the group of fifty families are forced to make roads where there were none, and the blast holes in narrow canyon slits to make them large enough to pass a wagon through in the dead of winter.

I gained a new appreciation for the struggles the members of this group went through as they dealt with dangerous passes, lack of grazing for their animals, freezing weather and exhaustion. These pioneers received amazing inspiration to have known what was the best course of action in a trek that should have been completely impossible.

Tristi's writing is rich and engaging and her history was well researched. Though I had been very concerned about how Tristi might handle the touchy subject of Polygamy, it was deftly handled so any reader could understand the struggle it was for everyone involved. I learned a new appreciation for the difficulty the those who practiced it endured.

Now for the contest. Everyone who comments on this blog (and leaves me an e-mail address so I can reach them) will be eligible for a drawing for Tristi's new book. This contest will continue through June 10.


Danyelle Ferguson said...

Heather - Wasn't Tristi's book fantastic? I enjoyed your review. PS - don't put me in the drawing. I already have the book. Someone else should get a chance to enjoy it! :)

Janice LeFevre said...

Great review, Heather! Tristi is an excellent author and (bonus points!) a great person. She's also a great supporter of new authors (such as we are in Authors Incognito).

Love your blog.

Cathy Witbeck said...

Heather, Tristi's book sounds great. I'm reading 'These is My Words' right now and had no idea how much I liked historical fiction, Who knew? Thanks for the great review.


JM said...

Excellent review! With such a recommendation, I hope I can enter and win the contest. I can't wait to read this book!

JM @ FictionScribe.com

C.L. Beck said...

Great review! The book sure sounds wonderful, and Tristi is a great writer.

Please do throw my name into the contest ... I'll send you my email address privately and then keep my fingers and toes crossed.

Kristi Farr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristi Farr said...

Hi Heather. I enjoyed reading all of your articles. They were very intriguing and my interest was definitely piqued. You have a great talent for writing. I also had a chance to link to your website. Let me know when your books get published....I'll be the first in line. I'm glad that we have this opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Great review by the way. I recently started a page with goodreads.com. Have you heard of them? Let me know if you are interested in setting up your own page (if you don't already have one.) Kristifarr1@netzero.com

Dan and Wendy said...

I read Strength to Endure by Tristi a while ago and really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on her most recent offering.


Hazel said...

This review made me excited about reading Tristi's new book, "Season of Sacrifice." Tristi is a fantastic person, always willing to help new authors and I loved her book "Nothing to Regret." Hope she keeps coming up with new books, and I realize now I need to get in gear and read "Strength to Endure."