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    Hannah tingled from head to foot, then shivered suddenly as she remembered that, if they indeed married Father Lehi’s sons, they would not be travelling the few miles to Father Lehi’s house and lands. Instead, the boys had proposed taking them into the wilderness. To an unknown place. An unknown fate. When Hannah learns she will be given in marriage to a son of Lehi, she dreams of raising children in the paths of righteousness with a worthy priesthood holder. Instead, she is met with unimaginable hardship: an arduous journey, a cowardly husband, and possible infertility. Hannah had promised herself long ago that she would follow the Lord and His prophet, but when she thinks her journey is over, she is faced with an impossible choice between faith and family.

    Overall Customer Rating of 7 Reviews:
    Mebane, NC

    Wonderful new perspective on a beloved scripture story

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    I have always loved the stories of the ancient prophet Lehi and his family from the Book of Mormon. I was intrigued at the idea of a novel written from the perspective of one of the daughters of Ishmael, whose family traveled with Lehi’s through the wilderness and then across the ocean to the promised land in the Americas.





    If you would like to read the scriptural account of the experiences of Lehi, Ishmael and their families, please see 1 Nephi Chapters 1-5, 7, 16-18 as well as this synopsis of each person.



    The book is told from the point of view of Hannah, one of the daughters of Ishmael. The story starts when she is young, and moves through much of her adulthood until the time she must make a heartbreaking, life-saving decision.



    The Book of Mormon does not say much about Ishmael’s family. We do know that Lehi sent his sons back to Jerusalem to bring his family with them so his sons, and a man named Zoram, could marry Ishmael’s daughters, and so Lehi’s daughters could marry Ishmael’s sons. Their families traveled together to the promised land, enduring much trial, but also many blessings from the Lord.



    So, though we don’t know the real names of Ishmael’s sons and daughters, or the names of Lehi’s daughters, author Diane Stringam Tolley used her vivid imagination and knowledge of ancient Jewish culture to craft a beautiful story of obedience verses rebellion, and family member verses family member. Throughout the novel, there was joy, humor, hope, personal growth and faith, and also much of the opposite – sorrow, murmuring, dread, movement into the darkness, and the losing of faith.



    Hannah was a great person to be the protagonist. She was faithful to the commandments, admired and loved the prophets Lehi and Nephi, was helpful and kind, saw the good in others, listened to the Spirit, and always prayed to know answers when she was confused. She was steadfast and strong, never rebelling. Because of her strength, she was asked to marry someone she did not expect, and her life from then on would be full of uncertainty and worry for her husband’s salvation, and others’.



    I loved this book, and had a hard time putting it down. Though many of the details of this story of Lehi’s and Ishmael’s family crossing the wilderness were fictional, I got to thinking for the first time how the journey must have really been, how these people would have lived, and most importantly, the complexity of their characters, even those would ultimately turn away from God forever. Nobody is two-dimensional, really, and Tolley showed that expertly.



    A good book helps you not just read the words on the page, not just to understand what the characters must be going through, but to feel as if you are actually there. So many times I could feel how Hannah must be feeling as she mourned for the death of a loved one, yearned for the salvation of a member of her family, or watched the grotesque rituals of a people she once called her loved ones.



    I highly recommend this novel, especially for Mormons, but really, for anyone open to reading the possibilities of what could have happened to two families who eventually divided, one side remaining righteous, and the other side succumbing to the temptations and lies of the Devil.



    This is the ultimate novel about good verses evil, and spirituality verses worldliness.

    AB

    Bone-chilling and Exciting!

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    What a powerful book! It grabbed me from the first sentence! I felt like I was Hannah and was living vicariously through her the entire time. You could hear the sounds and smell the fragrances and aromas in the air. You felt the grit in your teeth and the dust in your clothes sticking to your sweat. I felt Hannah's pain as she was torn between her own family and that of the family she knew she wanted and needed to follow. This is a must read!!! I give it 5 stars!

    Iowa

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    This is a story of hope and devestation. It takes place in about 600 BC and places front and center the issues and customs that were common during that time period, according to Scriptures in several religions.

    There is the ever present desire of some of God’s people who truly desire to follow His way, and there are the dissenters who scoff at them and wish them ill.

    This is a time period when women counsel their husbands but are not allowed to speak up. It is a time when hope is very much alive. Sometimes it is the only thing these women can do.

    It is a time when some people still believe in miracles and prophets, and others do not.

    The main character is Hannah, named after the mother of Samuel. Samuel’s mother waited years in hopes of having a baby. When Hannah was finally blessed with a son, she was filled with hope that her son would have wonderful opportunities as did the original Samuel.

    It is a story in which there is veiled hope in a possible future, and a reminder to continue following what we believe is the truth because miracles exist and can still happen.

    It shows a divisive people, as we currently may notice in our own times.

    Hannah is a welcome example of strength and perservance.

    Read this book to see how Hannah deals with her divided family and deals with the consequences of the time period. There is hope, despair, love, anger, and hate.

    The book is moving and will touch you deeply.

    Utah

    Brings Scripture to Life

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    I grew up hearing and reading the stories from The Book of Mormon. The story found in the book Nephi describes the struggles of the families of Lehi and Ishmael. I know the stories well. They have always been stories of faith. I haven't really considered the emotional impact on the people who lived them.



    Hannah is a young women of faith. She wants to do things that are right and good. Her hopes change when she marries Lemuel, not the man who she planned on marrying. Lemuel is not know for being a man of faith. The book describes what her thoughts and feelings could have been,



    This is a fictional book based from scripture. I loved the perspective of a female living the story. Not much is know of the women and it makes me think about what life could have been for them. This is a story that makes you think and gives a broader view of the Book of Nephi and the division of the family. It is very interesting. The book contains violence, but I consider it a clean read


    Utah

    I couldn't stop reading this great book!

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    I really enjoyed reading this book! It was kind of fun that as I was reading it, I was reading again the opening chapters of the Book of Mormon, so it really helped those to jump off of the pages for me this time.



    I liked the way you see this story through Hannah's perspective and only Hannah's. The scriptures and this story from them is only told through the eyes of the men who participated in it. This story shows that not only would many women have been involved, but it shows the way they would have been treated and the things that they would have done at the time. Things that I've wondered about many times.



    I loved that you see Hannah grow up in this book from a young girl, to a bride, to a mother in the Promised Land. I loved the way she was faithful and didn't complain, even when who she was to marry changed at the very last minute. It was obvious that she was disappointed but willing to do what was asked of her, no matter what.



    I loved that it was obvious that some of her sisters would be believers, but there were some of her sisters that were never going to believe, just like with Lehi's family. And the couples complimented each other, for the most part.



    I loved the ending, and how Hannah had to make a hard choice for herself and ultimately for her family.



    I couldn't stop reading this one! I loved everything about it!