Come to Zion, Vol. 1: The Winds and the Waves (Hardcover)
by Dean Hughes
The Winds and the Waves by Dean Hughes, the nationally acclaimed writer, is the first in a new series and the 99th book he has published during his 33-year career.—Read the full press release on LDSLiving.com (Click Here)
Will Lewis is stuck. the class system in England in the 1840s seems destined to keep him in his place as a poor tenant farmer who cannot improve his lot and will never be able to marry the woman he loves. But the "new religion" that is sweeping through congregations of the United Brethren, Will's church, may hold the key to the better life he longs for. As he listens to the preaching of Wilford Woodruff, he almost dares to hope for the Zion the young Apostle describes.
Will's struggles to believe and to face the rigors of immigrating to an unknown land are paralleled by the modern-day story of Jeff and Abby, a young married couple facing challenges of their own. When Jeff begins digging into his family history, he finds himself particularly drawn to "Grandpa Lewis," an ancestor whose life was more like his than he would have imagined.
The skillful interweaving of these two stories brings Church history to life while demonstrating how much we can learn from those who went before us. Anyone who has ever faced the winds and the waves, in some form, will love this novel.
Interview with Dean Hughes:
What books (if any) do you read for inspiration?
Other than the scriptures, I’m not sure that I read any particular book for inspiration. I read all kinds of things, always trying to understand what writing is all about. I read more history than anything else, and that’s partly because I’ve been writing historical novels in recent years, but it’s also because history fascinates me. I always have a list of books I want to get to, and lately I’ve been going back to read things I read fifty years ago and want to try again. I read reviews of books that have won awards or are being widely read, and I download them to my Kindle. I spot books in bookstores, or my wife tells me about something she’s reading—all sorts of things get me started. What inspires me is a really fine insight, stated well, and I find those in many places.
Do you have certain tools you go to for the history part of your books?
Research has become much easier in recent years. There was a time when I sat in a library or archive for many hours, and I still do that at times, but I can find much of what I’m looking for at home now. When I’m starting a new project, I like to go to Curt Bench’s store, Benchmark Books, in Salt Lake City. I try to find the seminal works on a subject: especially the general books that give me an overview of the period I want to understand. The bibliographies in those books guide me to others sources, and the nice thing is, I can sit at home and order most of what I want to find, including many works that are out of print.
As I figure out my plot and know more exactly what I need to know, I look for books on nineteenth-century farming techniques or log cabin construction. What’s great, though, is that the Internet is replete with sites that zero in on specific information. There was a time when I had to go to LDS Church archives to find materials that are now published online. (The Joseph Smith Papers, both online, and in published form) have been a big help for me, for example. I write on an iMac with a twenty-seven inch screen, and I type my notes instead of taking them by hand. I can juxtapose my notes and the page I’m writing on the same screen, and then check details without much trouble, simply using keywords to find what I’m looking for.
I also find that I Google all sorts of things. If I’m writing a scene that involves an actual person, for instance, such as Eliza R. Smith, I wonder exactly how old she is and instead of looking through books or notes, I Google her name, and spot a bio, which always provides her birthdate. In a few seconds I know exactly how old she was in 1843 (thirty-nine, as a matter of fact). I have to be careful, because web sites are not all of equal quality, and there are mistakes all over the place, but I love to hit a couple of buttons and get instant information. My biggest challenge is that there is more information available than I can possibly read; sooner or later, I have to write the book.
What inspires the ideas for your fiction?
People often ask me where I get my ideas, but I hardly know what to say. For some reason that’s what my brain does pretty much all day. It grabs on to some little clue and says, “Hey, Dean, you could write about that some time.” I guess it’s a habit of mind from writing for thirty-five years (actually, that’s publishing for thirty-five years; I’ve been writing much longer.) And yet, it seems as though my brain has always been that way. Music, books, movies, the evening news, a conversation overheard, a certain scene or mood or desire: all sorts of things kick off ideas, and then my mind starts turning the idea into a story. In fact, when I’m driving, I fairly often forget where I’m going. My mind is too busy to waste time on such minor things.
- Size: 6 x 9
- Pages: 444
- Year Published: 2012
- Book on CD: Unabridged, 10 discs
About the Author
Dean Hughes has published books for readers of all ages, including the bestselling historical fiction series Children of the Promise. Through Cloud and Sunshine is his one-hundredth published book. Dean 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. The parents of three children and grandparents of nine, they live in Midway, Utah.
Jeff Lewis got home to the apartment before his wife, Abby, did. Now, for half an hour he had been waiting, nervous, rehearsing different ways he could break the news. He was sitting on the couch in their little living room when she opened the door. He felt self-conscious, not reading, just sitting there, so he stood up. She looked pale to him, and tired, but she was smiling. “You won’t believe what happened today,” she said.
He didn’t say anything. He tried to smile.
“You know that yellow swatch that I said was too bright? The one for the Boltons’ kitchen?”
Jeff didn’t remember, but he said, “Yeah.”
“Well, Mrs. Bolton didn’t like it. Mary was all, ‘Oh, I wondered. It is a little bright. But you like the concept, don’t you?’ So Mrs. Bolton—she’s like super quiet, and won’t give her opinion most of the time—she just kind of shrugs, like she isn’t really sure. I was standing behind Mary trying not to laugh.” But Abby’s smile was fading. “What’s wrong?”
Jeff decided he might as well just say it. “Well . . . Mr. Hart called me in this afternoon. I didn’t think much about it at first, but then he started talking about the bad economy and how the company was going to have to cut back on their computer people—you know, let some people go.” He lifted his hands, palms up. “He said I’d done a good job for them, but since I’ve been there less than a year—and I was the last guy hired—I’m the one he felt he had to cut. I’ll finish out the month, but that’s all.”
“Is it just a layoff, or . . . what?”
“He said that in case they get busier again, or if anyone should leave, I should keep in touch—but I don’t see that happening for a long time.”
“What are we going to do?”
One reason Jeff had been dreading this moment was that Abby always worried so much. Her pretty, dark eyes were brimming with tears already, and that crushed him. He walked to her and took her in his arms. Abby’s head fit under his chin. She pressed her face against his chest. “I wouldn’t worry too much, Ab. I did all that contract work when I was still in school. I’ll start calling those people in the morning. I’m pretty sure I can get enough work to keep us going for a while.”
“What about insurance?” She stepped back from him. It was like her to think of the practical things. In some ways, she was more the grownup than he was.
“I wondered about that,” Jeff said. “But it shouldn’t be a big problem. I don’t think I’ll be out of work very long. We’re both healthy, and—”
“I don’t dare do that, Jeff. Something could happen.”
“Well, okay. I talked to Personnel. The woman said I could get some COBRA thing through the government—it’s the same insurance we’ve had, but we have to pay for it ourselves. It lasts eighteen months if we need it that long.”
“Did you say you would take it?”
“I told her I’d think about it. I was just hoping that maybe we could . . . but that’s okay. I’ll get back to her in the morning and tell her we want it. Don’t worry, though, Abby. We’re going to be fine. A Stanford degree means a lot. I’ll find another job.”
“You don’t know that, Jeff. My Stanford degree got me a part-time job at Saunders’ Carpet and Floor Coverings.”
“But honey, think about it. You knew when you went into art history that you’d have to get more than an undergraduate degree.”
“Still . . . I thought I could get a job in a museum or something like that.”
Jeff didn’t want to argue with her. The only museums that might have been interested were in San Francisco, and he and Abby had chosen to live close to his work on the peninsula, near Stanford, in Sunnyvale. They had agreed not to have her look for jobs that would mean a commute all the way into the city.
Anyway, that was not really the point. Abby was scared. If there was one thing Jeff had learned about her in the last year, it was that she needed the security she had grown up with. She’d been raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, and her father had ridden the same commuter train into New York City—and had worked at the same advertising firm—for almost thirty years. Security to Abby was like the water that flowed from the faucets in the beautiful home she had grown up in. Jeff had watched her, after they had married, seem to realize—as though it were a whole new concept—that not everything was certain all the time.
It wasn’t that she was spoiled. She had worked hard in high school and college, and she’d worked summer jobs all those years. She liked making her own money and not relying entirely on her parents. She thought for herself, too, sometimes almost more than Jeff had been ready for. But she simply had never experienced anything but security.
Abby had come to Stanford as a churchgoing Methodist, but she had had a best friend in high school who was LDS—a girl who had impressed her—and then she had become acquainted with a Mormon in her dorm. A long talk about religion had led to her taking missionary lessons. Jeff had spotted her at church and decided immediately that he’d like to do a little “fellowshipping.” She was quite skinny, and she was cute more than beautiful, with dark brown hair and a dimply smile. Jeff had liked her immediately. She was smart and she liked to talk about ideas. The two of them could talk about anything and everything. They hadn’t been dating a month before Jeff knew he wanted to marry her.
Abby had been a little less certain about him. For one thing, she didn’t want to join the LDS church just because she was attracted to a good-looking guy. She attended church for the better part of a year before she was finally baptized. But maybe half that year was spent getting her parents to accept the idea. They kept finding anti-
Mormon information on the Internet and e-mailing it to her. That did raise a lot of questions for Abby, but she took the questions to Jeff and he kept providing perspective, if not always easy answers—as did a lot of other really bright students in the Stanford singles ward.
On Valentine’s Day of their senior year Jeff had finally asked her to marry him and Abby had accepted, but she asked that the wedding be held in New Jersey, since they couldn’t get married in the temple for a year anyway, and neither of them wanted to wait that long. Jeff had met her parents a couple of times and had spent a little more time with them when they came to California for graduation, but it was during the days in Teaneck that he seemed to experience a breakthrough with them. John Ramsey enjoyed talking to Jeff, and he told Abby he was amazed at how many things Jeff, young as he was, could talk about intelligently. Even more, he liked that Jeff had helped his father build the Lewises’ house in Las Vegas. He said that Jeff was a “solid guy,” and that, according to Abby, was Dad’s highest compliment.
Mrs. Ramsey—Olivia—had warmed to him too, if not quite so enthusiastically. She was Italian and had been raised in a Catholic family, but her parents had divorced, and she remained skeptical of men’s promises. “I love the way he treats you,” she had told Abby, but she had added, “Just make sure it doesn’t change.”
Jeff had thought a lot about that. His own father was certainly a solid guy and a good husband, but he wasn’t one to show a lot of affection. His mom sometimes teased him: “Come on, Alan, kiss me in front of the kids. They need to know you actually love me.” Jeff and his three younger sisters would all say, “Oh, yuck,” but Jeff knew now that it was a good thing to tell Abby he loved her, and it was important to remember days that were special to her. Abby kept track of the months they’d been married, and Jeff tried to preempt her at mentioning that it was their “monthaversary.” What he sensed already, though, was that he was more like his father than he had realized, and he could easily slip into complacency about such things if he didn’t work at it.
Jeff had grown up an active Latter-day Saint, involved in Scouting and all the Young Men activities. He had served a mission in British Columbia and been an assistant to the president. He was every Mormon’s wish for a son in most ways, and yet, he sometimes felt uncomfortable in Church discussions. He was a little too much like his mother—who never stopped raising questions. She could drive a Sunday School teacher crazy with her little queries that would start with something like, “I’m sure that’s true, Brother Jones, but on the other hand . . .” She couldn’t help inserting reality into a conversation that the teacher would have rather concluded with, “Well, I guess you just have to follow the Spirit.”
Jeff had thrived in his college ward, where questions had been valued at least as much as answers. But that wasn’t always easy for Abby. She was still trying to get lots of things straight in her head, and Jeff tended to make things complicated for her. He had majored in computer engineering, but he had taken every class in history and literature that he could work into his schedule.
“Do you want to go get a sandwich or something—and talk through this whole situation?” Jeff asked. “I’ve been thinking a lot about it. I really feel like it might be the best thing for us.”
“What do you mean? How could that be?”
“Well, that’s what I want to explain. Why don’t we just run down to—”
“I’m not hungry, Jeff. And we can’t spend the money. I’ll make you a sandwich, if that’s all you want, but I don’t want anything right now.”
“It’s not that. I’m not that hungry either. But I have some things I want to tell you—or, you know, talk over with you.” He took her hand and led her to the little couch they had bought at a secondhand shop in Palo Alto. Abby had a knack for finding old things and making them fit her decorating scheme, but she didn’t always look carefully at the structure of the furniture she chose. Jeff had warned her about the couch, but she had liked the pattern of the beige and red fabric. The thing was breaking down now, and there was a depression in the springs where Jeff usually sat and read under the light of the fancy Victorian floor lamp Abby had also chosen. He sat down in that gully now, still holding Abby’s hand, and he pulled her next to him.
“I know you’re upset,” he said.
“It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault. Mr. Hart said that, didn’t he?”
“Well, yeah. He said he’d write me a good letter of recommendation and everything. But that’s not what I mean. I’m just saying, I know it’s kind of scary. When he first told me, I was blown away. I’d known it could happen, but—”
“You didn’t tell me that.” Abby’s voice was soft, but the glance she had thrown his way seemed a little too accusing. He knew she was calculating her small income, setting it off against their bills. He had to be careful not to sound naïve. But she didn’t have to assume the sky was falling, either. He found it a little hard to be patient when she got that way.
“Okay, here’s the thing. I’m sure I can get contract work. The companies I did work for always threw more work at me than I could handle. And that wasn’t very long ago. I’ve got all the phone numbers. I’ll start working through them in the morning.”
“Sometimes, though, something like this is just what a person needs in order to move ahead in life. The thing is, I’ve never said too much about it, but I didn’t like my job that much. You know how I’ve been in the mornings. You keep asking me what’s wrong, but I just hated doing grunt work. I was trained to do creative stuff—real programming—and I don’t get a chance to do that.”
“You always said that was okay—since it was just a first job and everything.”
“Hey, I was relieved to find a job as soon as I graduated. It gave us a start. But I always felt like a fish out of water. Most of the guys I worked with were the real geeks they’re supposed to be. If I said something at lunch about—you know, almost anything—they’d start in on me about being the ‘Stanford boy.’”
“You told me that didn’t bother you.”
Jeff sat back, let go of Abby’s hand. He knew already that he couldn’t tell her everything he’d been thinking all afternoon. “Well—you know—it didn’t seriously bother me, but I didn’t feel like I fit in, either. The main thing, though, was that the job was just not challenging. And it had no future. It was always just a steppingstone. To get anywhere, I always knew I’d have to look for another job.”
“But this isn’t a good time to be looking, with the economy the way it is.”
“I know. I wouldn’t have quit. That’s the thing—now I’m forced to look for something better, and that might be my chance to move in the right direction.”
She looked at him again, and he could see resolution in those brown eyes. She had made up her mind about something. “Let’s have a prayer, okay? I think things will work out if we have enough faith.”
“Of course. I do too.” He pulled her to him and kissed her on the side of her head, his bottom lip catching the top of her ear. “In fact, that’s one of the reasons I thought we ought to eat something. Maybe we could start a fast before I make those calls in the morning.”
“Okay.” But she sounded hesitant.
“Or maybe that wouldn’t work, with you having to work tomorrow.”
“No, no. I want to do it. I think I can.” Fasting had been a new thing for Abby when she joined the Church. Actually, she never ate very much, but she would become weak and even dizzy when she tried to miss two meals.
“No, honey, you don’t have to. We’ll be okay. I’m so sorry this happened.” He knelt down in front of her and looked up into her eyes. “I’ll make everything all right. Trust me, okay?”
“I do. Don’t think I don’t.” Tears spilled onto her cheeks. She bent forward and kissed him.
He held both her hands in his and said, “There’s something I want you to think about.”
“I’ve been wondering this afternoon whether this might be the right time for me to go back to school. We’ve always said that we both need to do that at some point. But maybe it’s easiest to go now, when we’re young and don’t have kids.”
She sat up straight. He knew he had scared her again, but he hadn’t expected her to be quite so surprised by the idea. Still, he decided he might as well say it—get it out on the table—and then let the idea sink in for a while. “I’m thinking, if I go to grad school, I might not want to stay in computers. What I’d love to do is to go on for a PhD in history. I’ve always thought I’d like being a professor. The whole computer thing was just a way of playing it safe. Everyone said there were plenty of jobs in the field.” He hesitated, unsure what she was thinking; she was avoiding eye contact now. “But here’s the thing. Maybe we’d both be happier if I was doing something I really loved.”
“Jeff, we didn’t do that last year because we couldn’t afford it. How can we afford it now?”
“Lots of people keep going to school after they get married. I might be able to get a fellowship of some kind, and I could still do contract work part-time. We could take out student loans if we had to.”
“We looked into that. People are spending their whole lives trying to pay back their loans. When you found a good job, we decided that was the answer.” She looked frustrated. “Remember everything we talked about? And how we prayed about it?”
“Sure I do. And I am going to start looking for another job. But maybe it’s a better time to move ahead with my education. Everyone says that you never lose when you invest in education.”
“Jeff, I want to start a family. That’s what matters most to me. You know that.”
“That’s what I want too. It’s the most important thing there is in life.”
“But the doctor said I had to control stress—get more rest and everything. She said that might be the reason I haven’t gotten pregnant.” The first several months Abby and Jeff had been married, they had held off on Abby getting pregnant, and then they had decided together that they wanted to get their family started. But nothing had happened. Abby had finally seen a gynecologist, who had said there was no reason to assume infertility problems yet. Abby had always been rather irregular with her periods, and that was probably the problem. The worst thing Abby could do was worry too much about it.
“Do you think it would be stressful for you if I went back to school?”
“If we had some savings, or if you knew you had enough work—or maybe a fellowship or something—maybe it wouldn’t. But it scares me to think of jumping off into something without more of a plan.”
“Hey, I agree. We’d have to figure a lot of things out. I’m just saying, maybe we should start thinking in that direction. But I’m with you. I want kids. I’ll never put my own priorities ahead of that. It’s just that I’d like to enjoy my work, too. Is that wrong?”
“No.” She looked past him.
“Tell me what you’re thinking.”
“I want you to be happy. And I’ve noticed it a lot lately. You just haven’t been.”
“It hasn’t been that bad, honey. If it’s what I need to do, I’ll just take whatever job I can get. But let’s not decide anything yet. I’ll fast, and we’ll pray, and we’ll try to get some answers about what we ought to do. I’ll get all the contract work I can, for now, so we won’t have to worry about having enough to get by.”
“I want to fast too.”
“Only if you’re sure you can.” He watched her face for a time. She was clearly preoccupied, and he wondered whether she wasn’t wondering about him, doubting that he would ever give her the life she wanted. “Are you upset with me?” he asked.
“No, Jeff.” But she still wouldn’t look into his eyes. “We’ll do what we have to do.”
“The Lord will help us, honey.”
Jeff decided he’d said enough. He was actually more worried than he was letting on, but it was hard to understand why Abby couldn’t empathize a little more and imagine what it was like for him to do a job he didn’t like—to go there day after day, counting hours all day, never feeling challenged. He had always thought he could do something big, or at least creative, but he wasn’t developing software programs the way he had expected. He had ended up in a sort of glorified IT job, supporting the accounting department and helping the office staff when they couldn’t get programs to run correctly.
“Let’s pray,” Abby said. She slipped off the couch next to him, knelt, and took hold of his hand. He said the prayer and asked for help and guidance. Then he held Abby again and reassured her as best he could. She said the right things too, with more life in her voice, and she kissed him again. “I’ll fix us something to eat, okay? But if you don’t mind, I’ll wait just a little while. I’d kind of like to lie down for a few minutes.”
“Sure. In fact, you do that and I’ll fix dinner.”
She smiled. “I was hoping you’d say that.”
• • •
Abby did rest a little while, but she kept asking herself what lay ahead for them, and she couldn’t sleep. She could smell bacon frying and knew Jeff was making up one of his pancake breakfasts as a dinner. There was something really sweet about that—but not all that appetizing.
Abby knew better than to call her mother, but she found herself digging in her purse for her phone. She decided she might as well give her mom the bad news and get it over with. So she called, talked about other things for a time, and then, as casually as she could, said that Jeff had lost his job but that it wasn’t a big problem; they were both sure he could find something else.
Mrs. Ramsey didn’t take the news in stride. She asked lots of questions, and by the time she was finished had Abby more nervous than ever. “I’ve heard about a lot of computer people out of work lately,” she told Abby. “The way the economy has shut down, from what I’m hearing, people could be out of work a long time.”
“Well . . . thanks for those encouraging words.”
“It’s just reality, Abby—something young people don’t like to recognize. I hope you have some savings.”
How were they supposed to build up savings this first year of marriage, with so many things they had had to buy to get their apartment set up? Abby only said, “We’ll be fine, Mom. I wanted to let you know, but I’m not worried at all.”
“You sound worried.”
Abby took a breath. “Well, you know . . . it’s not what we’d like right now. But we’re handling it all right.”
“Don’t go without food out there, okay? We can help. In fact, I’ll—”
“No. Don’t send money. We’re okay for now. You helped me get through college, and that cost way too much. I’ve got my degree now and I’ll be fine.”
“At the carpet store?”
Abby wasn’t going to answer that one. It was a stab, and they both knew it. Mrs. Ramsey had wanted Abby to wait to get married and go on for an advanced degree immediately. Of course, she had also hoped that Abby would end up back on the East Coast, not all the way across the country. It really seemed that every choice Abby made bothered her mother in some way.
“Look, I’m sorry,” Mrs. Ramsey finally said. “It’s just hard for me not to worry about you.”
“That’s okay. I understand.”
“I love you, sweetheart. I really do.”
“I know.” Abby waited. She knew better than to end the call too quickly and make it seem she had only called about the layoff. She asked a few questions, tried to seem chatty.
Her mom talked about this and that—Abby’s sister, Maria, and her husband, and some friends of the family. “Hey,” she said, “did you hear that Tracy Mower is pregnant?” The Mowers were family friends from their neighborhood in Teaneck, and Tracy was their oldest daughter. She was five or six years older than Abby.
“Actually, I did. She posted it on her Facebook wall.”
“You’ve got to be kidding. This world is getting away from me, I swear. Why would she put it on the Internet?”
“She’s happy about it.”
“I don’t know why. They want to buy a house and I don’t see how they’ll do it. I’m just glad you’re not pregnant. That’s the worst thing that could happen right now.”
“Mom, what a terrible thing to say. There have to be worse things than having a child.”
“Children are wonderful, Abby—when the time is right. But don’t let this Mormon thing get you thinking you have to start early and pop out a dozen kids before you’re finished.”
“Mom, we don’t want to wait too long.” Abby had never had the courage to tell her mother that they had been trying. She knew what kind of reaction she would get if she said anything.
“Abby, I don’t like the sound of that. Even if Jeff finds another job, he’ll have to start all over again with a new company. I’d be very sure he’s in a stable situation before you start thinking about a baby.”
“Mom, I’m a grownup now. Don’t talk to me like I’m a teenager.”
“Well, maybe I know a few things you don’t—even if you are clear up in your twenties.”
Abby decided it was time to get off the phone. She was only getting angry.
“Do use your heads, the two of you,” her mom continued. “That’s all I’m saying.”
“Okay. We will. Well, look, Jeff cooked tonight. I’ve got to go see how much damage he’s done to the kitchen. Don’t worry about us, and please don’t send money. I’ll let you know how things are going.”
“Honey, I’m sorry. I know I’ve upset you. But I do love you.”
“I know. Thanks, Mom.”
Abby had lost control of her voice a little, and her mom must have heard her shakiness. She really was scared, but there was no one she could say that to. She needed to go out to the kitchen and convince Jeff that she wasn’t a frightened little girl. She would stand beside him, and the two of them would figure things out. But she was crying again, and she didn’t want Jeff to see that.
by Lisa - reviewed on July 30, 2013
Will Lewis was in search of something more in his life. The son of a tenant farmer in England, Will is enthralled with the talk of factory jobs and getting away from the farm. Life in the big city doesn't turn out as planned though, but Will feels something drawing him back home. He does manage to actually better himself, but by then Will and his new wife Liz are involved with a new religious movement. His new church promises a Zion in America- the city of Nauvoo to be exact. Will and Liz are excited to go, but they will discover that the journey to Zion may be the hardest part. Meanwhile in the current time, Jeff and Abby are dealing with problems of their own. They also end up in Nauvoo, but in a completely different manner. They too will deal with struggles with faith and finding their place in this world. I found this book a little hard to get into initially. I sort of felt thrown into the story. Once I got it all figured out though, I didn't want to put the book down. The two stories were very interesting indeed. Most of the book revolved around Will and Liz, but their story neatly ties in with Jeff and Liz's story. Although they live many years apart, they have some similar issues to deal with. Both couples deal with struggles with trying to make the best lives that they can for each other and dealing with their faith. These are complicated issues, but you can feel for the characters as they go through them. The passage over from England to Nauvoo was horrific, and you feel for Will and Liz (and everyone else). I can't imagine giving up everything and traveling to a new country in that manner. It takes a great deal of faith and dedication which Will and Liz clearly had. Jeff and Abby show these same traits as they move to Nauvoo as well. This book really drew me in, and I felt connected to the story and characters. It brought a new light (and some interesting information) to LDS church history. I was sad when it ended, so I'm glad I have the second one to read already. The ending leaves things hanging a bit, but it was still a good ending. If you like historical novels with realistic characters, check this book out! Book provided for review.
Hughes brings the past to the present
by Rachelle - reviewed on August 07, 2013
I love learning about history, but I don't love reading straight non-fiction books on the subject. Enter Dean Hughes and his incredible talent for weaving fact and fiction into a story that brings the past to the present, engaging the reader in historical events that will leave a lasting impression. This is how I like to learn history! I read The Winds and The Waves, Volume 1 of a 3 Volume series and I can't wait to finish Through Cloud and Sunshine (Vol 2). As a member of the LDS Church, I've heard many stories and details of the difficulties the early members faced. This story brings everything up front and present with a clarity that gave me an even deeper respect for these early pioneers.
Engaging - part 2
by Keven - reviewed on July 01, 2013
Also Kirby Heybourne does an AMAZING job reading this novel.
by Keven - reviewed on July 01, 2013
Dean Hughes has done a fabulous job of connecting our times trials to those of the pioneers through the perspective of a man and his great grand son. Thought provoking about your own life and gives you that desire to learn more about your own ancestors.
by Shauna - reviewed on July 05, 2013
This book is WONDERFUL! I LOVE how the author takes one character and then parallels that story with the story of the descendant of that same character... a fun way to portray not only a story, but a family history. Life has struggles no matter what generation you live in and as you understand your past family history, it helps you with your future determination. Will is a tenant farmer in 1840 and feels trapped by the economy and social status. Will's descendant, Jeff, feels trapped by the economy of modern-day and the loss of his job. Will sets out to find a better life. Jeff sets out to find a better life. Will joins the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and set out for the land of Zion. Jeff finds himself working on a house in Nauvoo, Illinois and finds out it is right across the street from the land Will owned. Watch as these two try to make the best of life even if they are thrown into "the winds and the waves." Three quotes I really liked from the book... "If this life doesn't turn out so well, we have eternity to be with God and feel His happiness." "Prayer wasn't a good-luck charm,...it was a means of discovering God's will." "You have to remember what Zion is all about: we're going to raise each other up by working together--not by climbing over one another, the way it's done most of the time in this world." It is fun to see Jeff display some of his great-grandfathers tendencies! Also included is some very interesting and inspiring Church history! An AMAZING read!
Couldn't put it down!
by mike - reviewed on July 31, 2012
I have read Dean's books for years, and this is by far my favorite. It is well researched and a captivating story. Can't wait to continue the journey with these English saints.
by Russell - reviewed on February 19, 2013
Couldn't put it down, totally absorbed me, got me begging for the rest of the story. I felt like I wanted to be right there in Nauvoo back at the beginning.
The Wind & the Waves is Dean Hughes at his very best.
by Richard - reviewed on June 19, 2012
In Dean Hughs' epic new book, The Wind & the Waves, he has created a real page turner, and a historical novel which will be of interest to all members of the LDS church. In it he provides vivid images of life in Great Britain at the time the first missionaries were sent there and great character development of those who first joined (and did not join) the church. The author describes the almost unbelieveable struggle the saints endured on their shipboard passage to Nauvoo and their establishment of a new life there. A great read and introduction to another premier series by this renouned author.