I am still considered to be a board member of the library and evidently have my own out box at the library. Our board president LOVES to read and has committed to keeping the library open - even if she has to use her own personal books. We've received a great deal of donations, and she has gone through various books to see which ones will be sold and which could be shelved. Whenever she finds the word "Mormon" she automatically sets it aside and asks me if it is something I might be interested in.
I finished a book just over two weeks ago. She had left it in my box. It took just two weeks for me to read "Rumors of War" from the Children of Promise series by Dean Hughes. Though the initial publication of the books are over 20 years, I had never read any of them before, and after reading the first in the five book collection, I had to have more.
If I was back in Salt Lake, I might be able to order these books through my library, but I don't have that option here. When our library was part of the county system, I was actually quite limited in all book selections. Now that we are not a county library anymore, I am even more limited. So I purchased some used books from ThriftBooks here I am so excited that they have arrived and I will be able to continue following the lives of the Thomas family and various friends.
So let me get you started on my wonderful find . . . a book review by LaTiesha Cannon (which you may remember is not my actual name):
"Children of the Promise" series is historical fiction. It is said that Dean Hughes did some extensive research on the situations, circumstances and even weather conditions. The setting is 1938 and thereafter. D. Alexander Thomas and wife, Bea have six children: Alex, Bobbi, Wally, Jean, LaRue and Beverly. They live in Salt Lake.
The book starts with Alex (Elder Thomas) on his mission in Germany. It's Christmas. He and his companion. They are visiting a member of the congregation who has not been to church for some time. Though he has converted to Christianity, he is Jewish by birth and has been treated as an outcast to Germany.
The missionaries had been told not to visit as it is dangerous - not only for them, but the man they are visiting as well. The Gestapo have their eye on the American pair that teaches religion.
We are then introduced to different family members back in Salt Lake. Bobbi is interested in English literature and attending classes at the University of Utah. She is dating a man whom her family thinks highly of and await the day that the two families will be joined.
When the book starts out, Wally is sixteen and seems misguided somehow, having a strong desire to venture outside of his family - especially his overly domineering father, President Thomas, who is very devout to his calling - often losing the sight of his own family. Wally tries to make light of the situation, but Pres. Thomas is never in the mood for Wally's taunting behavior.
In his attempt to keep Wally on the straight and narrow, Pres. Thomas arranges for him to gets a job on Mat Nasashima's farm. Wally is comfortable with the Nasashinmas and develops a respect for them. Thus far the Nasashinmas characters are not well developed but I imagine will be in future books. We are also introduced to the Stoltz family while Elder Alex Thomas is there serving his mission, and continue even after Alex had returned home to Salt Lake.
The Gestapo (well one thug in particular) become interested in Anna Stoltz who is very pretty and express unwholesome intentions toward her. the missionaries are pulled out of Germany. The Stoltz family go into hiding shortly after Alex had returned to Salt Lake.
Eventually Wally graduates from East High School and joins the navy. He is stationed in the Philippines and fighting with the Japanese. In the past, whenever I have read a book about World War II, the primary focus seems to be on victims under German ruling or the American Japanese - I don't recall reading a book that has introduced both. I also find it interesting to read the expectation of the woman's role and Bobbi's unwillingness to give up an opportunity of education and possible career by surrendering herself to that role - at least not yet.
I am anxious to read more on the different characters and find out how their lives connected (or disconnected) and what strengths and weaknesses each of them have to overcome.