Review Week marches forward with "Alma," by author H. B. Moore.
"Alma" continues Moore's award-winning series based on the lives of the prophets in the Book of Mormon. Picking up on the heels of "Abinadi," "Alma" takes us into the wilderness, where the people of Alma have created a new home for themselves far away from the rule of the evil King Noah. Their lives are simple - they no longer have the riches they might have enjoyed in the city, but now they have so much more - they have the gospel, and they can worship freely without fear of the king's displeasure. But when Noah's followers decide to burn him alive, thus fulfilling Abinadi's prophecy, they also decide to go after Alma and his people, wanting revenge.
Raquel, Abinadi's widow, feels she will never love again. Her little son Abe isn't growing up without a father, however - Helam, Abe's uncle, is always around to take the young boy fishing or to do whatever chores Raquel needs. As Helam's feelings for her grow, she puts up a wall, hoping to stall any budding romance. She has had the love of her life - why would she want to dishonor Abinadi's memory by remarrying?
As always, Moore takes familiar Book of Mormon characters and gives them thoughts, feelings, and personalities. Of course, much literary license has been taken in this regard, but Moore never intended these books to be mistaken for scripture or used in scripture's place. Instead, these books are meant to help us visualize as we read our scriptures, to understand that these men and women of God were real people, not just marks on a page, and to help us internalize and personalize the scriptures for our own benefit.
(This book was published in 2009 by Covenant Communications, who were kind enough to provide a free copy of this book for my review.)