The first use of natural rubber latex (NRL)came, as near as can be determined, in 1600 BC by the Ancient Mayans. According to Wikepedia, "They boiled the harvested latex to make a ball for sport." Having NRL allergy, one would think I knew this fact already, but when I read about a child playing with a rubber ball in H. B. Moore’s latest book, Alma, I was surprised to learn of latex’s origins in Middle to South America. In modern society, we often think NRL originated in Malaysia, but this is not the case. Such minute attention to details (such as the rubber ball) is found throughout Moore’s outstanding novel, Alma, so much so that I would highly recommend it for reading to anyone ages sixteen and up who is already well-versed in the Book of Mormon’s account of Alma. I was sucked in immediately and found the story difficult to put down.
It is interesting to me that H. B. Moore shows a variety of scenes from the woman’s point of view, giving the story depth and appeal to women, as well as showing the POV of several male characters, lending strength in its appeal to men also. Diversified as Alma is, one cannot help but wonder what really went on in the minds of our beloved Book of Mormon heroes, and H. B. Moore goes a long way toward resolving those questions we often ask ourselves.
I applaud the author’s gracious endeavor to bring such characters as Alma, Helam and Amulon to life in ways we cannot always see from the scriptures because so few verses regarding these men are available to us. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and see these heroes and their enemies in their own reality. Fortunately, H. B. Moore gives me a way to do that in Alma.