Monday, July 11, 2011

For Time and Eternity, by Allison Pittman (Tyndale House)

Allison Pittman is another gifted author who has no need of a review from me. But I'm writing one because I really just need to. Don't ask me why.

Ms. Pittman tackles a subject only a motivated and knowledgeable writer can handle well: Mormonism and Christianity. More people have gut-level reactions than erudite opinions on the subject, and I was among them until I read this book.

 For Time and Eternity is gutsy, fair, and extremely well written--oh, and don't forget entertaining. That's probably why it's a 2011 Christy Award finalist. It's neither a treatise nor an exposé, but rather a heart-gripping and heart-warming story of culture and faith, but mostly love.

Camilla Deardon is a Christian girl growing up in an austere pioneer environment--an environment that lends its austerity to the Christian instruction she receives from her stalwart mother, and enforced by her strict father. A Mormon encampment abuts their property, providing her the opportunity to observe from a distance their orderly and devout ways. It also provides her the opportunity to meet Nathan Fox, a young orphaned man rescued by a Mormon preacher from the streets back East with his sister Rachel. Mormonism's emphasis on community and familial love envelopes Nathan, he adopts the Prophet's teachings wholeheartedly, and is on his way to the new Zion at the shores of The Great Salt Lake.

A series of events thrusts Camilla into Nathan's arms and into the Mormon community, and she leaves her family and cleaves to her new love. Nathan's and Camilla's young family flourishes in the close community...until. It's the "until" that turns the heart-warming into the heart-gripping.

Ms. Pittman bestows on the reader more than insight into the early Mormon culture, more than a love story in search of a happy ending, but also an honest portrayal of a clash of faiths that engenders the gut-level reaction. Happily, it converts that reaction to the erudite opinion in an honest appeal to both the mind and the heart.

For Time and Eternity is the first in the Sister-Bride series. The ending of the book will have you tapping your fingers on the table waiting for the sequel.


Jennifer Light said...

Good morning Bruce,

I finished reading For Time & Eternity earlier this week. I really enjoyed this book! Talk about deep! The only thing that frustrated me was the ending. I understand Ms. Pittman did that on purpose so she could follow with a sequel, but it frustrated me. I don't like being left hanging wondering if Camilla is okay, did she survive the snow, will she ever get the chance to go back for her children, do her children remember the time they had with her and the Bible readings they did together, does she go back to her parents and explain everything that has happened, after hearing Camilla's story in person do they (her parents) accept her back as their daughter? So many questions, and none of them were answered. Thankfully the sequel comes out this week...I will picking one up :)


Bruce Judisch said...

It certainly did leave things open, didn't it? I start the sequel this evening, since Jeannie's finished with it.

Thanks again for stopping by. People hardly leave blog comments anymore when you can just click a "Like" button somewhere else... :-)

Cheers! Bruce