Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shadows of Brierly: A Far Horizon

So book number two finds Wren and Ian in New York having traveled with no idea of where to go and who to search for. All they had was a book that they new was true, and the desire to be with others who felt the same way. They have met some wonderful friends along the way who have also read the book and have joined in the desire to travel with the Brierly's. They are finally made aware that the group they are looking for are called the Mormon's, but there is such animosity involving this people they can't get anyone to tell them where they are. It takes many months to find where they are planning to go.

The end of winter comes and they are finally able to learn the location of this people they want to join, in a place called Nauvoo Illinois. This trip will not be an easy one. With a baby and a blind man, the journey is a dangerous one that will test the faith of all in the group.

Is it worth it? Has all the travel and loss really been worth just finding this group? Well when they finally get to Nauvoo, they get to stay at the home of one of the most amazing women of all time. The first days in Nauvoo are spent in the home of Emma Smith. This book is an amazing little glimpse of the love of Emma for her husband and her family. But it also shows her extreme graciousness for everyone who walks in her door.

I have never been a great historian, but one of my favorite parts of these books are the glimpse of history that I never new. The pain that the Smith family went through, the time that Emma was separated from her husband while he was away on church business, and the loneliness she must have felt. I am so grateful every day for the life we are able to lead now. It isn't until I read books dated in the 1800's that I realize how far our lives have come in just a few hundred years. Thanks Anita for helping me be grateful for the wonderful life I lead.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Shadows of Brierley: The Wanderer

Shadows of Brierley takes us to the Highlands of Scotland in 1838. Ian MacBrier awakes from a drunken stupor, praying that the last of his money is still where he left it. Can life really continue on moving from one drunken night to the next? Then he hears a "preacher" on the street and is moved by his message. He buys the book the preachers are talking about and decides that it is time to go home. He has been running for so long that he doesn't know how his family will receive him. He blames himself for a tragedy that has never been his fault, but losing his friend turned his life upside down.

I'll bet you think is your typical conversion story, but that doesn't actually come until the end of this book. This is a love story for the ages. The youngest son of an Earl who is in love with the daughter of a tailor. The Earl's family is not a what you imagine a wealthy European family to be. They are loved by all who know them. They treat everyone like they are family. They do not see anyone as being beneath them. There is not one moment that they hesitate when Ian mentions the upcoming marriage to the love of his life Wren. The marriage is filled with love of each other and family. Ian actually spends the first few months of his marriage living with his wife and her family in the back of the tailor's shop.

This is a beautiful story about the love of a man for his wife no matter what the odds. Through the loss of loved one's, the trial of mental illness, and the consequences of our actions. Anita Stansfield has been writing LDS Fiction for about 15 years. She has always had a way of telling a love story, But Anita has something special. She can tell a story about a mother in 2012, and the son of an Earl in 1838 and yet it all feels real. I have always loved her books, because you feel like one of the family. I own almost all of her books, and I will continue to buy all her books in the future. This is a beautiful series about one families journey of hope and faith. This is one you should check out soon.