The Guardian (Hardcover)
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When Carruthers "Danni" McAllister receives an antique pouch as a birthday gift from her grandfather, her first reaction is disappointment. "Don't assume that something is empty just because there's nothing there," her grandfather warns. Danni learns that for nearly two hundred years, the mysterious pouch—with its astonishing hidden secrets—has been handed down from generation to generation, and each new owner has had to discover how to access the power it holds, or suffer the penalty of using the pouch unwisely.
While Danni struggles to understand the power of the pouch, her father's discovery of a rhodium mine makes her family the target of a deadly extortionist plot, and the strange pouch is Danni's only hope of saving her family.
In the spirit of The Alliance, The Freedom Factor, and Leverage Point, author Gerald N. Lund blends gripping, fast-paced suspense with a timeless message for readers of all ages.
- Size: 6 x 9
- Pages: 560
- Published: 11/2012
- Book on CD: Unabridged
- Run Time: Approx. 16.9 hours
- Number of Discs: 13
About the Author
Elder Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He served for thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, and he served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He is a prolific and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction and is best known for his historical novels, including The Work and the Glory series, Fire of the Covenant, The Kingdom and the Crown series, and The Undaunted. He and his late wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.
Friday, June 13, 2008
This is the personal journal of Carruthers Monique McAllister.
But if any of you guys ever call me Carruthers, KAPOW! You’ll be wearing a black eye for the rest of your life. Just wanted to make that clear.
Actually, everyone calls me Danni.
I know. It makes no sense at all, but I’ll explain in a minute.
Today is Friday the 13th. And today is my 13th birthday! How cool is that?
But my birthday party isn’t until tomorrow.☹
I really, really wanted to have it today, but there’s no way Mom would let me have a party on Friday the 13th. She said we can’t tempt the fates. When I asked her what that meant, she just shook her head. But she wouldn’t budge. My birthday party is tomorrow. CRAZY!!!
Don’t get me wrong. I think Mom is way cool. But she has friggatriskaidekaphobia. That means she’s scared of Friday the 13th. I found that on Google. Grandpère says they must have invented Google just for me because I’m always asking questions and want to know everything. He’s right. I love Google!!
Grandpère doesn’t believe in this whole bad luck thing and went ahead and gave me my present today. It was this journal. Mom was all right with that as long as I waited until tomorrow to actually start writing in it. I didn’t say anything, which she took to mean I agreed. Too bad for her.
At dinner, when Mom wasn’t looking, Grandpère slipped me his pocket flashlight and a couple of extra batteries. So that explains why right now I’m writing under the covers in my bed. Glad he included extra batteries, ’cause I’ve got a lot to say.
Okay, let me tell you about Grandpère. He’s my grandfather (Mom’s dad), and he has lived with us since my grandmother died of a stroke five years ago. His name is Jean-Henri LaRoche. It’s French.☺
Oh, and BTW, it’s not pronounced Jeen Henry, like we’d say it in English. It’s Zhahn Ahn-ree. But we all call him Grandpère. (You say Grahn from the back of your throat, like you are going to spit. BTW, I think Grandpère is a waaay cooler name than Grandpa.)
As I said, my full name is Carruthers Monique McAllister. I was named after my mother and my great-grandmother, Grandpère’s mother. My mom’s full name is Angelique Carruthers LaRoche McAllister. (It’s easy to fall asleep before you get through saying that. Ha-ha.) The other side of Mom’s line comes from Ireland, and their last name was Carruthers, so that became her middle name.
When I was born, Mom decided she wanted me to represent both the Irish and French sides of our heritage, and thus my name. But why, oh why, did she decide to make my first name Carruthers? Ugh! Sometimes Mom can be seriously weird. Not in a bad way. But seriously! I mean, really? Carruthers? It totally sounds like an Irish pub. Not cool!
Fortunately, Dad solved the problem. When I was little, Dad always used to sing me Irish songs to get me to sleep. His favorite was “Danny Boy.” He sang it to me almost every night. And one night, when I was three, when he finished, I sat up in bed, pointed to myself, and said, “I Danny Boy.” From that point on, I’ve always been Danni to my dad. He changed the “y” to an “i” so it looked more feminine (and so Mom didn’t freak). Even now, he keeps reminding her “Danni” is as Irish as “Carruthers.”
Dad only calls me Carruthers when I’m in trouble. Mom never calls me anything but Carruthers.
So anyway, I’m Danni McAllister. I’m thirteen years old (as of today). I have my mom’s dark hair, but Dad’s green eyes and some freckles. Dad calls them leprechaun kisses, and Ricky thinks they’re cute. That helps.
Oh, who’s Ricky? Ricky is Ricardo Manuel Luis Ramirez, my best friend—but only his dad calls him Ricardo. We didn’t start out being friends though. We hated each other in elementary school. When I was in the fourth grade, Ricky—who was in the fifth grade—found out my name was Carruthers. He thought that was so hilarious he started telling everybody about it one day in the school cafeteria. When I gave him and two of his buddies bloody noses, he went back to calling me Danni. And so did everyone else. ☺
Our middle school is in Bicknell, which is about sixty miles from Hanksville. Since his house is the second bus stop from mine, we sit together every day. I have a lot of other good friends, but none of them are as good a friend as Ricky.
Anyway, back to me. I am exactly five feet three inches tall. I hope I’m still growing, but Grandpère thinks this is it. My favorite food is peanut butter pizza. (Just kidding!) It’s actually cheese enchiladas and fried ice cream. My favorite color is light purple (lavender, my mom calls it), and my favorite hobbies are reading, hiking, camping, and riding four-wheelers. I love taking our ATVs up into the Henry Mountains near our home to search for old Spanish gold mines. Sweet!
I live on a small ranch on the north side of Hanksville, Utah. We have a few head of cattle and grow some of our own hay. It’s the greatest place on earth to live. There are national parks and monuments all over the place down here. And Lake Powell. We have jet skis and a houseboat we share with another family. I love Lake Powell. It’s the greatest.
As I said, my mother’s name is Angelique. (That’s pronounced Ahn-zhel-eek, not Angel-leak.) I think it’s an amazing name. Especially for her. She is very beautiful, with long black hair and gray eyes. She speaks fluent French because when she was growing up, Grandpère and Grandmère spoke French in their home. She was raised in Boulder, Colorado, where Grandpère taught French literature at the University of Colorado.
Mom loves beautiful things, and often dreams about living someplace like Paris or London. I tell her she ought to be a fashion model. She just says, “Oh, you!” but I can tell she likes it when I say it.
I jumped like a snake had been dropped down the back of my shirt. I turned off the flashlight, slammed my journal shut and stuck it under the pillow, then threw back the covers just as Mom opened the door.
“Are you all right? I thought I heard someone talking in here.”
I gulped. I always talk to myself when I write. “Umm . . . no, Mom, I’m all right. Really. I can’t sleep.” I gave her a big smile, the kind which always gets me out of trouble.
She came in and sat down on my bed. Absently, she reached across and pushed one strand of hair away from my face. “Do you hate me for making you wait until tomorrow for your party?”
“No.” Disappointed, yes, but I could never hate my mom. “It’s all right.” I squeezed her hand. “Really, it’s okay. But why won’t you and Cody come camping with us tomorrow?”
She laughed softly. “Because my idea of roughing it is having to adjust the air conditioning unit in a hotel room by hand. Maybe next time.”
Yeah, right. Not in my lifetime.
She stood. “Daddy called awhile ago. He was in Price. He said he’ll be home around eleven.”
I glanced at the clock: 10:41. “Did he get my new cowboy boots?”
“He didn’t say, but I’m sure he did.”
“Tell him to come in and see me, even if I’m asleep.”
She smiled down at me. “I won’t have to.”
Getting to her feet, she bent down and kissed me on the forehead. “Happy birthday, Danni.”
My eyes opened wide. Danni? Did my mother just call me Danni? Then I saw the smile behind her eyes. This was her way of saying she was sorry about the party. I raised half up, threw my arms around her, and gave her a hard squeeze. “I love you, Mom.”
“And I love you too, Carruthers. More than you can ever know.”
I laughed. I guess one Danni was all she had in her. She blew me a kiss, moved back to the door, and reached up to turn off the lights. She dropped her hand. “I’ll leave this on,” she said. “May as well write in your journal at your desk and save Grandpère’s batteries for when you really need them.”
“I . . . umm . . . my journal?”
She laughed aloud. “I may be superstitious, but I’m not blind. You can write until your dad comes home, then it’s off to bed. Promise?”
“Promise,” I said. As she closed the door, I threw the covers back and climbed out of bed.
Okay, so that was so totally cool. Mom just called me Danni. That may be the first time ever.
I’ve already told you a little about Grandpère. He was in born in France. He is very tall—over six feet—and wears a little French goatee. It’s cute. His hair is black too, but starting to turn gray around his ears. He always wears a French beret when he goes out. Since everyone around here wears cowboy hats—well, except for one or two—some people have taken to calling him Grandberet instead of Grandpère.
After World War II, Grandpère’s family came to America and settled in Boston. That’s where he met the Carruthers family and my grandmother. (BTW, when Grandmère died, that was the saddest I have ever seen my grandfather.)
I have only one sibling, my little brother, Cody. He’s ten, has red hair, and ten tons of freckles. All my friends think he’s wickedly adorable. Not me. My dad’s first job after getting his doctor’s degree was in Cody, Wyoming, so Mom named him for the city. I keep telling Code (that’s what I call him) that he’s lucky they weren’t living in Albuquerque. Or Butte, Montana (ha-ha).
After Cody was born, Mom couldn’t have any more kids. Cody and I fight sometimes, but not as much as we used to. He’s way smart and helps me on the computer sometimes. And he loves math. (I tell him that’s because Mom dropped him on his head when he was a baby.) He’s a funny kid. And fun, too. And he’s got a smile that makes me laugh even when I’m so mad at him I could spit. But for a kid—and especially a boy—he’s okay.
My dad—or Papa, as they say in French—is the funnest and best dad anywhere in the world. He’s amazing! He and I are really close and do everything together. His name is Lucas McAllister. Guess what his nickname is? Not Luke. Everyone calls him Mack, just like they do his father, Grandpa Mack. Except Mom never calls him Mack or Luke. She always calls him Lucas. She thinks Lucas and Angelique sound musical together.
Dad grew up in Butte, Montana. Grandpa Mack was
a mining engineer at the copper mine there, but they lived on a small ranch outside of town. That’s how my dad became a cowboy. He went to college in Colorado and Michigan, and now he’s a mining engineer consultant. BTW, I was born in Michigan while Dad was getting his—
Hey! Dad’s truck just turned in to our lane. Gotta go!
Very good read!
by Jackie - reviewed on December 07, 2012
I have always enjoy Gerald Lund's books, and The Guardian is no exception! It is a suspenseful story with several wonderful messages. The importance of family love and loyalty, how our ancestors impact our lives. I recommend this book to everyone of all ages. A very good weekend read!
creative and suspenseful story
by Customer - reviewed on December 06, 2012
Gerald Lund is a talented writer and has crafted a new suspenseful story with The Guardian. The book was well edited with interwoven story lines that can appeal to young and experienced readers. There were also underlying themes in this book - the importance of strong family love and bonds, how history & ancestors influenced the present and future, the main character Danni had to learn and grow in difficult situations, and family members made mistakes and sacrifices. This was not my favorite of his books but it was well written and edited, suspenseful, and a family-friendly story.
Make sure you have a free weekend before you pick this book up!
by Dawn - reviewed on November 26, 2012
This is a great book, easy to read yet very engrossing! I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book to any one young and old. The main character, Danni, is a typical teenager yet seems to come into her own when her family is facing grave danger. It is fascinating to see how she can work through different difficulties and learn more about herself and her heritage.
a very good read
by Guen - reviewed on January 17, 2013
Gerald Lund does a great job keeping you turning the pages, to see what will happen next. I love the grand father in this. reminds me of my father.
A coming of age fantasy adventure with emphasis on strong family bonds
by Kay - reviewed on November 29, 2012
Gerald Lund has done it again. He is masterful no matter what he is writing. I have read many of his other books and get involved with the characters almost immediately because he can bring them to life through his words. In this case a young girl (Danni) is given an heirloom by her grandfather on her thirteenth birthday. She knows it is special to him and to her ancestors, but does not know why. Her grandfather doesn’t fully explain, but says to keep it with her and to protect it. On her sixteenth birthday she soon will find out why this gift is called “the guardian”. Her family and her boyfriend’s family are in danger and it is up to her with the aid of her boyfriend (Rick) and brother (Cody) to save her parents, grandfather and protect Rick’s family. Through the course of events she discovers the power of the guardian. The story takes place mostly in southern central Utah. An area Lund knows well from other books he has written. I found that there were many parallels and lessons to be learned by this story. It emphasized the importance of families, friends and the help of others. To know of your heritage and how ancestors are a part of you, and knowing them can help you to discover yourself. The guardian was like a metaphor for spiritual gifts. This is a great coming of age book that I would recommend for teens, but would be enjoyed by all ages. I intend to give a copy to my granddaughter for Christmas.
It totally sucks you in.
by Customer - reviewed on December 04, 2012
I loved this book the Guardian. It was slow in the beginning but then around Chapter 7 it totally sucks you in. I had a hard time putting it down, it kept me entertained and guessing what was going to happen next. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read.
Great for Tweens and YA
by Teresa - reviewed on December 09, 2012
I received an advance copy, not knowing anything about it, just that it was written by Gerald Lund. The prologue sucked me in. Then suddenly, it was 2008 and I was dealing with a very chatty 13 year old girl named Danni who just received an old pouch for her birthday. I kept waiting for the time warp or intrigue to occur, but it never really got going. Flash forward to Danni's 16th birthday and there is finally something interesting going on, much of which revolves around her old pouch, and saving her family from kidnappers. Unfortunately, none of it is captivating or engrossing. This is not for someone that routinely reads mysteries, thrillers, or cop stories. I would recommend this for Tweens and YA.
Exciting story - wonderful book
by Marilyn - reviewed on November 29, 2012
This is an inspiring story. I felt as Danni was guided by the "gift" from her grandfather that is is much like our guidance nice from our Heavenly Father. Often we don't realize it's value, or take it for granted. But when Danni recognized it's value and tried to follow it's guidance, she learned, grew and was guided and protected. I recommend this book to all, young and old.
Intriguing reding for the whole family, especially teens.
by Judith - reviewed on November 16, 2012
Gerald N Lund,as usaul, has written an intriguing and exciting book that you won't want be able to put down until you have finished it. The story is full of mystery and love with the main character of Carruthers Monique McAllister better known as "Danni" to most everyone except her mother who calls her by her correct name of Carruthers. Danni is caught up in an extorsion plot that involves her family and a boyfriend and his family and the whole story is based over a few short days. Danni is given old family heirloom of an intriguing old pouch that has mystical powers that helps in many ways with their adventures of the extorsion plot and the people involved in the story. This adventure will fill you with many different feelings and senses as you join with Danni in the excitement of her adventure with her family and the extortioners. As you read you will become part of the story and feel the excitement and fun as though you were paticipating in their adventure. I can recommend this to anyone of any age to read and enjoy and find out this extorsion bid ends.
A Great Read! Just a hair slow to start, but gets good fast
by Dan - reviewed on February 27, 2013
I'm going to try some more of Brother Lund's books. I really like the Guardian and enjoyed the fictional family and tense experiences! Highly recommend it!
An intriguingly good read - great for teens
by Customer - reviewed on January 20, 2013
The prologue was very well written and completely drew me into the story. I lost some interest as the story then moved to more of a modern day scenario with a teen character at the center. I found it slow moving and a little cheesy at times, but then it picked up again and held my interest. My favorite parts were when you were taken back in time and I kept wishing more of that storyline had been written. Overall, a good read and one I'd recommend, though I agree that it might appeal more to teens.
Another great book
by Shauna - reviewed on February 14, 2013
I really loved the book. I knew that I was having surgery and so I waited to read it and I'm glad I took the time to read it. Gerald Lund can create a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole book. I wasn't disappointed in the least.
Hard to put down
by Customer - reviewed on December 07, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was very hard to put down. Had a great message of what is important and what is not.
A great book to read
by Kaylynn - reviewed on December 27, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. The last couple of days I could not put it down. My only problem with the book was my Deseret Book shelve on my android phone kept losing my place. I would recommend this book. I received a free copy for an honest review.
Great Young Reader's Book!
by Pamela - reviewed on December 10, 2012
I've always enjoyed Gerald Lund's books and this is no exception. There's a terrific blend of mystery, intrigue and entertainment in each chapter. It was a delight to "watch" a young girl mature and come into her own understanding of life and her own maturity based on the love and support of her family and family members she never knew. Common sense, a bit of mystery and enchantment were woven together to form a delightful read.
Clean entertainment but very slow moving
by Kathy - reviewed on December 26, 2012
This book did not hold my attention until the last few chapters. It is very clean entertainment which i appreciate. I think Mr Lund should stick to writing historical novels. Not his style or best work. Very cheesy at times.
A great family fiction that you can share with your teen or your mom.
by Mj - reviewed on November 12, 2012
I received an advanced copy of this book and was immediately intrigued with the opening. The main character quickly ages from 13 to 16 but the rest of the book occurs in a matter of four or five days. Dani McCallister was given an old family heirloom in the shape of a weathered pouch. On her 16th birthday, it quickly becomes her most valued possession when her family is taken hostage in an extortionist plot and it may be the only thing that could save them. Little does Dani know, but the pouch posses magical powers including money creation, messages written on windows of cars in front of her, and can make her seem invisible. Will Dani and her brother Cody be able to save their parents and Grandpere? This is a great book for teens and adults to read and share.
Come one come all - READ THIS BOOK!
by kitty - reviewed on May 25, 2013
GREAT book!! Great story line, wonderful characters, family traditions and values and content that sucks you into the story and keeps you from putting the book down. I've read a number of Gerald Lund's book and have enjoyed them all. I look forward to his next one!! Thank you for sharing your talent with us!!
by John - reviewed on January 03, 2013
This book is weird, not at all what I expected from this author. I have enjoyed all his other books. I hope he goes back to gospel centered books.