Monday, August 22, 2011

All That Was Promised, by Vickie Hall

All That Was Promised by Vickie Hall brought me quickly through its front page to 1847 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales. I was immediately interested in this LDS novel because my grandparents were from Llantrisant, Glamorgan, Wales. The backdrop has always fascinated me, which only added to my being "hooked" by Vickie's engrossing tale of conversion and persecution in and around Cardiff. Vickie weaves a beautiful story of love and betrayal within the pages of her book, along with backstory from the point of view of many of her characters. The reader empathizes with the Latter Day Saints plight, struggles as they struggle, rejoices as they rejoice, fear as they fear . . . .

Not only does Vickie have the ability to catch my interest, but she kept that interest in the engaging tale in All That Was Promised. I found danger, humor, concern, anger, laughter, compassion and a multitude of other feelings as she captivated me at each new turn in the road.

Richard and Leah Kenyon are the main characters: a young Methodist minister and his wife, who had already known disappointment and bereavement in the loss of their unborn children. It seemed as though the very gates of hell had opened up its wide mouth to consume them, yet they came through the Refiner's fire with conviction and spirit.

Add to the Kenyon's fiery storms a deranged brother (and his evil wife), a niece caught up in a terrible drama, a missionary whose family suffers tragedy of their own, a barmaid who ultimately cleaves unto the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a deluded murderer who would kill all "Mormons" if given the opportunity, and you have All That Was Promised . . . an engaging story that doesn't let you up from its absorbing pages until the very last word is spilled out.

Would I recommend the book to others? Yes, it was a tale that needed to be told . . . in a beautiful country, the county of my own ancestors.

That said, please be aware that the book is seriously flawed with a multitude of POV changes within each scene, something its editor(s) should have pounced on from the very first page.