In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.
Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.
When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.
But all is not what it seems, and when the Marshal is critically injured, Deborah and her husband’s best friend, Nels Anderson, are faced with life and death decisions that question their faith, humanity, and both of their futures.
approx. 304 pages
Out February 7, 2019
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
Written in first-person, this book involves a group of Mormons who have ‘broken’ away from the Mormon community to live in Utah territory during the 1880s. The story is told by Deborah Tyler, a married Mormon woman who is left alone awaiting the arrival of her husband from a work project across State. He is late in his return and it is winter.
When a stranger shows up asking for shelter from the weather, Deborah is afraid that he might be a criminal on the run.
The Mormon faith is brought into the spotlight along with what people are willing to do to hide their faults and cruelty from others. Quick to judge and slow to forgive. The small group in the community that Deborah belongs to do not practice polygamy. In fact, she and her husband and neighbor, Nels, help those now hunted by the law for practicing polygamy.
I am not a Mormon, nor do I boast any knowledge of this religion or those who practice it. So I wasn’t sure if this book was for me.
I’ve tried to read this book now four times but unfortunately, had to stop because of how slow it moved along. Yet, I’ve heard how wonderful this book is and I’m still determined to give it another go after taking a break. When I do, I will write my review then.