Come to Zion, Vol. 1: The Winds and the Waves
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.
Unabridged audio book
By tera, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I felt that the characters in this story jumped out of the book. Dean made England come alive in this story. I loved it!
By Lisa, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By Rachelle, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By Shauna, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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!
By Keven, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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 Keven, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Also Kirby Heybourne does an AMAZING job reading this novel.
By Russell, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By mike, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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 Richard, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.