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In this series, Dean Hughes tells the gripping story of four young cousins — Gene, Kathy, Diane, and Hans — who experience a time of turmoil and trial, of growth and discovery as they find their own paths in life. If you're interested int he lessons of history, or simply looking for powerful LDS fiction, you'll love these books. They portray the explosive problems of the sixties and early seventies in stunning detail, but also offer the hope that families can hold together and that good people, with the Lord's help, can no only survive but prosper.
Volume 1: The Writing On the Wall
Young Gene Thomas, son of Alex and Anna Thomas, has everything going for him: his natural good looks, his family's prosperity, and his reputation as the best athlete at East High in Salt Lake City. But now that world events are affecting his family, things may not be so rosy after all.
Kathy Thomas, daughter of Wally and Lorraine Thomas, has been thinking a lot lately — maybe too much — about politics, nuclear war, and racial injustice. What bothers her most is that nobody else in the family seems to care as much as she does.
Hans Stolz, son of Peter and Katrina Stolz, has been trying to get his parents to leave East Germany before it's too late — before the government won't let them leave. And now, suddenly, the border is closed.
Volume 2: Troubled Waters
Elder Gene Thomas's mission isn't turning out the way he'd planned. But he has a lot to learn — about himself and about life. So do Kathy and Diane, both away from home for college, and Hans, whose attempt to help his friend escape East Germany has tragic consequences. Troubled Waters continues the gripping story of life in the sixties for the Thomas grandchildren, a time of growth and self-discovery, of facing tough decisions and figuring out how to get along in a rapidly changing world. This second volume of the Hearts of the Children series will go straight to your heart!
Volume 3: How Many Roads?
Hans's road has led him to prison, and in many ways it has also brought him back to God. But can he endure what the future may bring? Kathy's future is unclear as she struggles to find her way through the extremes that beckon her, including advances from a handsome young college professor.
By all accounts Diane should be happy, but her marriage is beginning to show signs of trouble, and she doesn't know how to fix it. And Gene's road, though he is thrilled with his new marriage and impending fatherhood, seems to be heading unavoidable toward Vietnam.
Volume 4: Take Me Home
Just as Hans's life is improving, he begins to suspect that German authorities are watching him again. Going back to prison would be painful, but worse is the thought that he might miss his opportunity for a future with Elli.
Gene is surviving the terrors of a jungle war day by day, with long periods of boredom followed by moments of utter terror. Can he really make it home, when so many are dying all around him? And if so, will Emily and Danny even recognize the man he has become?
Kathy has joined the Peace Corps and traveled to the Philippines, determined to make a difference, but she find that her eagerness to help only alienates people. When the local LDS branch president asks her to accept a calling, Kathy is unsure. She can't seem to find a place where she really belongs.
Diane's marriage to Greg is certainly not turning out the way she had imagined it. She still has reason to doubt his faithfulness to her, and he's becoming abusive. Diane wants to make her marriage work, but she's wondering how many chances she should give her difficult husband.
Volume 5: So Much of Life Ahead
For Gene Thomas, Vietnam doesn't seem to be going away. All those scenes of his dying companions are stuck in his head, and his anger is taking a real toll on his family.
Kathy, on the other hand, finally seems to have come to terms with life, but she's having a hard time finding a man she'd want to marry. And Marshall, the only man she's ever really loved, is engaged.
Diane, back in school, is making it on her own, but her abusive ex-husband, Greg, is working hard to win her back. Is it possible he's actually changed?
Hans, still in East Germany, would love to marry Elli, but his job pays so little that he sees no way to support her. To make things worse, the Stasi agents are asking him questions again. Why can't they leave him alone?
In this concluding volume of Hearts of the Children, we come full circle to bid good-bye to the Thomas family. The characters we met in Children of the Promise, and their posterity in this sequel series, have filled our hearts for years.
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.