by S. J. Wilkins

Hope historical novel

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Product Description

Isaac Shaw is dead. For sixteen years, his family has struggled on in shame, believing he died a criminal—responsible, in 1837, for burning down the village mill and causing the death of several villagers, including the mill owner’s wife. Since then, the family has survived due to the remarkable charity of Edward Reeve, the bereaved mill owner, who now employs Isaac Shaw’s sons.

When Isaac’s youngest son Manny decides to run away, the decision takes him straight into the path of a traveling Mormon elder, and the meeting threatens the family’s well-being. Charged with care of a letter that challenges the village’s history, Manny must find a way to reveal the true identity of Hope, the young woman he loves. It is a quest destined to change him and his family forever.

About the Author

S. J. Wilkins

S. J. (SETH) WILKINS lives close to the village from which the first British LDS immigrants left for America, and close to the beautiful but rugged west Pennine moors which inspired Hope’s setting. He taught at the Preston England Missionary Training Centre between 1999 and 2002, able to look out on the same moorland the early missionaries must have seen after they first arrived in England. Seth appeared as Heber C. Kimball in the 2009 documentary Faith in Their Footsteps and has researched extensively at the University of Lancaster, graduating with masters of arts degrees in history and creative writing. In 2013, following almost six years in LDS retailing, he began training as a teacher.

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Average rating:

(based upon 4 reviews)

Action-packed story of love and redemption: fun read with a very creative twist.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Written for a Latter-day Saint ("Mormon") audience, this is an entertaining and action-packed novel with the interesting twist of occasionally adding the thoughts and yearnings of a family member on the other side of the veil, waiting for the chance to be cleared of terrible accusations and hoping to have someone care enough to do his temple work. For Latter-day Saints, it will give some new perspectives and speculative possibilities to consider during the course of this enjoyable read. The events that unfold in a small community in England provide a lot of drama in a seemingly quiet part of the world. I look forward to the movie! Could be quite an intense one.

Nicely written, original and creative. Some developments seemed a bit of a stretch or improbable, but life is full of improbabilities.

Also shows how easy it is for us humans to misjudge others, including some people who are obviously displaying bad behavior. Many good lessons and perspectives to consider. The intertwined thoughts from Isaac in the spirit world might throw some readers for a loop, but give it a chance. Interesting.

LDS Historical Romance
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

Hope by S. J. Wilkins is a interesting tale from his imagination yet surrounded by real places and some real events. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale and the telling. It portrays LDS converts in the early Victorian period. It uses the real event of Heber C. Kimball’s preaching in the early missionary work done there.
Young Hope Alderman’s has just found out that she was adopted and that her parent’s identity must remain a secret from her when her soon to be husband, Manny, takes her to listen to a Mormon preacher. Manny and her feel that they should join the Mormons after they feel the spirit manifest in them the desire to do so and they get baptized that day.
These events open many trying incidents, including Manny’s family’s opposition to his joining the Mormons. Also, persecution from the owner of the Mill where Manny’s dad had died 16 years before and his increased hate for Manny. There is a well-kept secret in this village and it has something to do with Hope and Manny’s fathers and the fire at the mill.
This is a very good read and an entertaining tale. In fact it is a great book to add to any LDS library. It contains mystery, some miracles, romance and lots of faith mingled in a very effective way. It also contains extensive information about the places where this tale, though a fiction from the author’s imagination, was takes place. If you like the Work and the Glory you probably will enjoy Hope by S. J. Wilkins.

By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

WOW! This book is GOOD!

Lies and deceits!
Doubts and fears!
Hopes and dreams!

Written both from a deceased fathers view AND the view of his son who is trying to bring to light what really happened in the fire and the identity of the woman he is in love with...Hope.

Issac was wrongly accused of setting the fire that took his life and the life of two women.

Manny has lived with the secret of his father's death by being told it would do no good to look to the past.

Many has found some peace now that he and Hope have joined with the Mormons and have plans to be married at sea and possibly journey to America.

But now Hope has just found out that she was adopted and that Mormon men marry multiple wives...will that happen to her if she marries Manny?

Manny is trying to find out who Hope's real parents are and when he returns he finds that Hope's guardian has been terribly injured.

Manny's brother tells the police that Manny did it.

While Manny is on the run he finds out that his father was going to join the very church Manny and Hope have joined and that it was that very thing that was to blame for the fire.

Hope and Manny seem to find themselves in many precarious situations...filled with fear and doubt.

Is it too late to find understanding of the truth?

Or can they 'turn their hearts to their fathers' and help each other?


A great pioneer story from a new angle - the converts don't leave England.
By , Submitted on 2015-02-25

I recently read an interesting new book by Seth Wilkins titled "Hope." This is a pioneer story with a difference. It is filled with mystery and romance, but the journey is one of conversion, testimony, and faith rather than travel.

The setting of a mill town in 1853 England is so well described that I was mentally there enjoying the scenery. I know the area well, and the author gets it right. The fictional characters are nicely developed and bring events to life in a believable way. I particularly enjoyed the snippets from the world of spirits that highlight the beginning, and bring about a satisfying ending. Genealogist readers will no doubt appreciate that aspect. It certainly appealed to my imagination.

I hope Seth Wilkins continues to write books of faith set in the British Isles, as large groups of people converted to the LDS Church and many families stayed in that country instead of leaving for America.

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