Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fire of the Covenant by Gerald N. Lund - 2017 Reading Challenge

I decided as part of my 2017 Reading Challenge that I would share a short review of each book I read for the challenge. You can read the details of the challenge for yourself, it's a mix of specific book titles and themed months. January is a theme month: A book already on your shelf that you've never finished.

I chose Fire of the Covenant by Gerald N. Lund. I have had this book on my shelf for at least a year or two but just never pulled it off the shelf to read. It is the story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. If you have never read a book by Gerald N. Lund you may wonder how his historical fiction writing works. He inserts some fictional families into the historical events for us to journey with. It was very interesting to begin in Europe and watch the gathering of people from many countries who emigrate across the ocean. You follow them across a new country and learn of the preparations put in place for them, the decisions they faced, and the choices they made at each point.

Each chapter I would wonder what was a device of the author and what was based on actual events. I love that the author does his research and then shares notes and excerpts from actual pioneer journals at the end of each chapter. I would devour the notes for the chapter, read the journal entries, and then dive back in to the story for another chapter. By the end of the book I was in awe of the experiences of men, women, and children who were determined to gather together with their people.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction!


  1. It's been a while since I've read anything by Lund. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I haven't tried reading anything by Lund yet ... think this will go on my list

  3. I love Lund's books, but pioneer stories are too heart-breaking for me right now. I need to be more mentally solid to be able to cope with even thinking about what pioneers actually lived through!

    I guess I'm kind of a baby. :)

    I'll be giving this one a shot once I can handle it.

    1. I put the book down for a day about halfway through because I needed a break to regroup. I read a book once (not a pioneer story) that was so emotionally stressful that I put it down for a month before I could bring myself to finish it. And postpartum I will deliberately choose books that are sappy and will make me cry to help channel my crying from postpartum hormones into a specific outlet that I can hold up and show the family "I'm ok, just crying over a book, ignore me." I've had varying levels of postpartum depression with various deliveries. I wouldn't be able to read an emotionally stressful book during those times. Or one that makes me feel like I'm failing/should be able to do more than I am.


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