I didn't confirm definitely til the end, but it had the feel all along that it was biographical in nature, as well as a conversion story. The writing...moreI didn't confirm definitely til the end, but it had the feel all along that it was biographical in nature, as well as a conversion story. The writing was pretty good, but for one not accustomed to the inherent conflict the reader feels in wanting a character to join the Church, the story would have seemed to have little drive to it. Even in that realm, it was actually disappointing, but more because it wasn't fulfilled in the according to standard expectations of this story type. Also, curiously, although the very end is a pretty happy one, the ends of the first two sections are actually very sad, and not really addressed so as to make them feel all right. This was probably the strongest indication these were nonfiction. All interesting, in any case, and she highlights a few times in Church history that are unique and not often addressed in fiction, such as the 1920s in Salt Lake, when remnants of polygamist families were still living, and then the 1970s Donny Osmond era. All in all, I would recommend it. (less)
This one was better than some of the recent LDS fiction I've read, but I'm getting a little discouraged by the general literary quality of LDS fiction...moreThis one was better than some of the recent LDS fiction I've read, but I'm getting a little discouraged by the general literary quality of LDS fiction. There's a lot of telling and not so much showing, lots of feeling like the books have to involve major conversions and not so much regular life of an LDS person or community. Lots of didacticism, lots of scenes showing them sharing scriptures with each other, which is kind of nice, but the whole of those scenes doesn't add to the plot, unfortunately. But she did have a few good chapters with good images and good character development. Though to revert again, although they share the scriptures, I found it a little unfortunate that they had some reference to teachings from the wonderful pamphlet "For the Strength of Youth" but they never mentioned it, and even strayed to a tiny degree from following it. (less)
an LDS high school romance--in some ways typical, but she handles some aspects of our beliefs much better than I've seen other authors do. Not too, to...morean LDS high school romance--in some ways typical, but she handles some aspects of our beliefs much better than I've seen other authors do. Not too, too cheesy either, even had some quality use of imagery. (less)
I'd heard this book on tape years ago on one of those Colorado-Utah trips. But since my aunt gave this to me a few years ago (since she had two), and...moreI'd heard this book on tape years ago on one of those Colorado-Utah trips. But since my aunt gave this to me a few years ago (since she had two), and since I was interviewing with Covenant, I thought I'd read something they'd published for a refresher. Anyway, it's not the worst I've ever read. He sticks close to Church doctrine, which is a definite plus. And he points out interesting things that inspire me to curiosity about the scriptures, another big plus.
But it's really not the best writing either. Although they (author/editor) set off the daughter's first person sections in italics to visually distinguish them, I still got confused in the transition because the two voices were not distinctive. With that and generally speaking, Heimerdinger's not really skilled in characterization. Just in fast action adventure. That's good for kids who like that kind of writing, to find good books in that area that make them curious about the scriptures.
But, on the down side for me, though perhaps not for everyone, this fast-paced adventure and many fantastical, fictitious elements juxtaposed against the truest things in the world's history, the most sacred parts of the scriptures, made me feel like something was a bit off. I think especially because the writing was in first person and those view point characters were fictitious and not well created, I couldn't feel the way I would want to feel being in someone's shoes who's meeting the Savior. Additionally, the scenes building up to this scene didn't prepare me as a reader on the emotional level. True some of the actions and events were built to prepare for it, and there was a certain degree of emotion in these, but overall, it didn't feel nearly as real as I would have hoped for such a glorious event.
In general, I don't have a problem with action adventure books. Fans of adventure don't usually care to have deep, strong emotional connections with action heroes. But in this case, because of the context, I would have liked to have a lot better characterization and emotional plot building.(less)
It took me forever to read, partly because it's long, and I like things that are quicker, but also because it wasn't terribly well written. Maybe beca...moreIt took me forever to read, partly because it's long, and I like things that are quicker, but also because it wasn't terribly well written. Maybe because it wasn't fiction with a plot? Also, in some ways I would have to agree with President Hinckley himself in saying that there's a bit too much of Gordon B. Hinckley in it. I think this is because there is so much of church history in it that I got the feeling I was reading a church history and wanted to know more about other people and events etc, but then the focus always came back to Pres. Hinckley. And there were a few times when I thought the accolades were slightly too high, (in addition to the sheer length of the book, the likes of which has not been done for a prophet before him), and sometimes the quotes of different people tended to show a slight favoring him above other prophets, when I don't think that's appropriate. Maybe I was misreading them, but that was my impression. In any case, I would love, actually, to know more about all the prophets. But I do love President Hinckley and know that he was the right prophet for the Church at his time. Reading some of his quotes and parts of the scripts of interviews he did in the back matter made me miss him a bit, but also made him feel still present--a voice from the dust, so to speak. (less)
A very interesting read. It's always great to hear the true story behind fictionalized stories. Some of the true things I'd heard some of them I'd mis...moreA very interesting read. It's always great to hear the true story behind fictionalized stories. Some of the true things I'd heard some of them I'd misheard, but this set it straight. I was surprised, though, although perhaps I shouldn't have been, that most of the book was about other times in her life. She has some good faith-inspiring stories, and some that are definitely Catholic and kind of curious. (less)