Sending out review copies is always a little freaky. If the reviewer doesn't like the book and blasts you, it makes you feel wounded. If the reviewer writes a good review, it'll put you higher than a kite. It's an emotional rollercoaster either way.
So far, the reviews have been great. Here are some for your reading enjoyment.
First, from Jamie Reynolds of the AML:
Ben Perkins loves his wife Mary Ann, deeply, wholeheartedly, eternally. The only things that mean more to him are the Lord and Ben's love for and faith in Him. In "Season of Sacrifice" by Tristi Pinkston, the reader becomes a bystander watching Ben seeking to fulfill all that the Lord has asked of Him. Ben's desire to live the Lord's gospel takes himself and his wife on a perilous quest that will test their strength and commitment, both to the Lord and each other.
After being baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ben feels a strong pull to leave Wales and join the other Saints in Utah. Through hard work and determination, he is able to immigrate to the United States. Eventually, Mary Ann Williams is able to join him and they marry. Over the next several years, they work hard to build a home and a life together. Mary Ann finds true satisfaction as their family begins to grow.
As so often happens in life, when the waters are calm, a hand reaches in to stir them. Ben and Mary Ann are called to help settle the San Juan valley. They sell the home that they have worked so hard to build, place their belongings and their children in their wagons, and, along with Mary Ann's sister, Sarah, they set out for the great unknown. The weeks pass as a six week trek becomes a six month long journey. Their courage and Ben's ingenuity are tested as they realize that they must build road after road over cliffs and through mountains.
Upon reaching the San Juan valley, Ben and Mary Ann seek to settle in and continue building their lives together, with one exception. Ben feels that it is time for him to fulfill the commandment that he has received to enter into plural marriage. The woman that he has chosen is none other than Mary Ann's younger sister, Sarah. The remainder of this book is filled with the agonizing struggle that these three individuals face as they strive to seek the Lord's will for them and as they seek to reconcile themselves both to it and to each other.
"Season of Sacrifice" is not a novel that will reach out, grab its readers by the throat and hold them captive throughout its pages. That being said, this book is all the more compelling because it is based on real people in very real situations. Tristi Pinkston does a very good job documenting exactly which portions of the book are historical fact and which portions she has supplemented with fiction. As we see so often in our daily lives, the true events are almost more unbelievable than the fictional moments.
Throughout this story, the reader is able to gain a greater appreciation for the people who sacrificed so much to settle these new areas. This book is one that will give its readers a new perspective of the practice of polygamy. The author has taken these struggles and challenges from a large issue that encompasses many people and brings them down to an individual level. There is a human component to this story that confronts and compels the reader to think of the actual people who were faced with these choices.
This book flows smoothly but is not necessarily an easy read because of the depth of its content. "Seasons of Sacrifice" is a wonderful resource for Latter-day Saints who are seeking to better understand their ancestors and the challenges that they faced. It is also an excellent reference for those individuals who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but would like to better understand the issues of this particular period in the Church's existence.
From Heather Moore on LDSReaders:
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
From Candace Salima at Dream a Little Dream with Me:
From the backliner: "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?
This is a fantastic book. I was able to read it when it was still in manuscript form and absolutely loved it. Tristi has this book for sale on her website and it is a must own!
This book is about her great-grandparents. He became well-known in Utah history by being the man who engineered the entire journey through the blasting and traveling through "Hole in the Rock." Truly a man of tremendous talent as well as honor.
Tristi has skillfully woven the accurate account of her ancestors into a fascinating story which will quickly become a favorite across the world.
I'm so proud of her! Click here to purchase your copy of her latest book. She's done it again!
Thanks for these reviews, ladies.
I'm going on a virtual book tour in the month of May, which means that several bloggers all over the Internet will be reading the book and posting about it. Many of these reviewers are unfamiliar with my work and know very little about the history of the LDS Church, so I'm curious to see how the book reaches a non-LDS audience. Stay tuned for the URLs to the locations of these blogs as they pop up in May.