About the book: The year is 1854, and change is in the air throughout India. Within the walls of her grand home in Calcutta, Sarah McCune anxiously awaits the future. After eighteen months at war, her husband, a sergeant in the Bengal Army of the East India Company, has made an extraordinary proposal: leave all the comforts of their life in Asia for an unknown future in America. As recent converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sarah and her husband are drawn to the promise of Zion. So, despite their fears regarding the dangerous voyage before them, they and their four children embark on a journey of faith that will test the limits of their conviction and define generations to come. This breathtaking saga based on the historical journals of one Latter-day Saint family invites readers to experience the sacrifices and perils of these early pioneers as they faithfully seek a land of promise.
My review: I'll just start by being brutally honest about this book. I had a really hard time getting into the plot of this one. It took me longer than normal, until around 50 to 100 pages into before I really got into it. And from there, I really enjoyed it, but the first part was really hard for me.
This book is about the McCune family. They were from England. He was in the army and was sent to India to fight in the Bengal Army. I was kind of amazed by their journeys. They started off in Calcutta and they had a pretty great situation. They had a nice house, furniture, servants, friends, and church. Their family was one of the few LDS families in the area, so they had a lot of responsibilities that way. But the army was eventually sent to Burma, so that left Sarah and her children without Matthew wondering how he was.
But Sarah was amazing. Eventually, Sarah and the children joined Matthew in Burma. And they had nothing. Matthew had built them a home, but they had no furnishings of any kind. They did have a cook, but there wasn't a kitchen in their home, so the cook would cook at her own house and either walk the food to the McCune's or row across the stream that developed in the rainy season.
And then, Matthew was told by a person he trusted to leave India. So he did. He sold everything they had and they made the trek. I kind of wonder how I would have handled something like that. Sarah really didn't want to go. She had lost 3 children when they lived in India and she was terrified that they would lose more, for one thing. I'm sure another hardship would have been leaving the three she had lost as well. This one is actually based on a real family, so I can just tell you that Sarah McCune was an amazing and strong woman. Their challenges didn't end when they emigrated to America, in fact, they were just beginning, but they pressed forward. I really liked that in the ending materials you get to see just what happened to the posterity of this amazing woman.
I liked the characters, I liked that they were real people who had real challenges. I liked the way the author wrote about them, you can tell that the author really cared for the people.
Bottom line, once you get through the first bit, this is a great book that you'll really enjoy reading!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase links: Amazon - Deseret Book
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Labels: Covenant Communications, Jean Hollbrook Mathews, LDS Historical Fiction