Pillar of Light – By Gerald N. Lund

Cover image and summary from goodreads.com
Cover image and summary from goodreads.com

 Title: Pillar of Light (The Work and the Glory, #1)

 Author: Gerald N. Lund

 Genre/Pages: Historical Fiction/456

 Rating: ★★★★★ (5 of 5)

 Summary: PILLAR OF LIGHT begins the saga of the Benjamin Steed family, who, in the fall of 1826, move from Vermont to Palmyra Township in upstate New York in search of better farmland. Almost immediately they meet a young man named Joseph Smith and are thrown into the maelstrom of controversy that swirls around him. Is he deluded farm boy or prophet of God? Does he commune with angels or consort with devils? The answers to those questions – intensely personal, bitterly divisive – will profoundly affect the lives of the Steeds and many others. From the frontiers of early America to the complexities of the last half of the twentieth century, THE WORK AND THE GLORY series chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of one family caught up in the events of the Restoration.

My Review: Wow. This book was incredible. Absolutely incredible. I originally read this book when I was about 10 or 11, and, at that time, I honestly think I was a bit to young to truly understand  and “get” this book. Now, re-reading it at the age of 15, this book means so much more to me.

Strictly as a work of historical fiction, this book was incredibly well written; the history and little facts about day-to-day life in the 1800’s blending seamlessly with the fictional family and their personal roles in the events surrounding the Restoration. As a work of religious historical fiction however, it’s even better. Lund perfectly illustrates the feelings, emotions, and thoughts of both sides of the controversy; truly making history come to life in a way it never has before.

The research that went into this book is absolutely mind-blowing. From little details about plowing and clearing land, to the bigger events of the early Saints and the LDS religion; it was obvious that a lot of time and effort went into the creating of this incredible book. And not only that, the fictional storyline and the Benjamin Steed family was just as amazing. Not once did the story get lost in the history, or the history lost in the story. The writing and plot pulled me in, and – within minutes of picking it up – I honestly could not put it down!

To Sum it up: To anyone looking for a fun and easy way to learn more about the early history Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or even just someone who wants a good historical fiction novel surrounding the church – Look no further! A perfect mix of history, fiction, romance, and suspense, I would recommend Pillar of Light to ages 14+.

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