Friday, June 6, 2014

LDS BOOK REVIEW: Fresh Courage Take by Dean Hughes


The United States turned a blind eye when the Mormons were driven from Missouri to Illinois and finally out of the country altogether. How can the government—and Brigham Young—now be asking the Mormons to come up with 500 able-bodied soldiers to assist in the war with Mexico? And how can Will Lewis be asked to join the Mormon Battalion when it means leaving Liz and their two little boys on their own in the wilderness? How many sacrifices will be required in order for the Saints to create Zion?

And in modern-day Nauvoo, Jeff and Abby Lewis are facing challenges of their own. Juggling family priorities, professional responsibilities, and Church callings becomes and almost impossible feat. It is clear that building Zion in the latter days will require sacrifices, just as it did in the time of Jeff's ancestors.

In this concluding volume of the Come to Zion trilogy, beloved novelist Dean Hughes provides a unique perspective on the struggles and sacrifices—and ultimate joy—of faithful Saints in any generation.


DEAN HUGHES has published more than 100 books for readers of all ages, including the bestselling historical fiction series Children of the Promise. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Weber State University and master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Washington. He has taught English at Central Missouri State University and Brigham Young University. Dean and his wife, Kathleen Hurst Hughes, served a mission to Nauvoo, Illinois. They are the parents of three children and grandparents of nine.


One of the biggest challenges with writing historical fiction is including enough detail for the story to feel authentic without getting bogged down.  In addition portraying real people in acceptable way can be challenging, especially well known individuals like Brigham Young.  Dean Hughes has, in my experience, always done an excellent job with this.  And that is no different here.

Fresh Courage Take portrays the struggles of two couples, Will and Liz, and their descendents, Jeff and Abby, who are each struggling with some big challenges as well as the routine ones.  Will and Liz live in Nauvoo during the time just before the Saints were forced to leave.  When Will joins the Mormon Battalion the chance that he and Liz may never see each other again is very real.  For Jeff and Abby the challenges of job and home can be overwhelming.

I think one of the things I like best about this series is how real it all feels.  Will and Liz as well as Jeff and Abby are characters that I found it very easy to care about and root for.  I sincerely empathized with their struggles.  To me that's the sign of a good writer, when the story becomes so real that the writing becomes secondary. A great series that I'm sorry to see end.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! Thanks Heidi. I LOVE Dean Hughes. I hadn't seen this yet--thanks for alerting me to a great book. I am a fan of Children of the Promise series, of course, and also Soldier Boys. I had the kids read that in my historical fiction class and they loved it.


Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Beautiful Moments kit by Newlife Dreams