8/26/10

LIGHT FROM THE DUST

by Winifred Milner

This is perhaps the most sympathetic historical novel written about the Smith family. While some readers may feel that the author has taken too much liberty in putting words in the mouths of well-known and not so well-known people, they must admit that she makes them come alive as few writers before her have been able to do.

Suddenly these usually pious paper people become men and women who laugh, cry, love, hate, and suffer "all the ills that flesh falls heir to." Since it may be difficult at times to distinguish fact from fiction, the reader is encouraged to enjoy the book for its human interest rather than use it as a documented life of the prophet.

While the story is primarily about Joseph Smith, Jr., and his wife Emma, it also covers other members of the Smith and Hale families, their neighbors, townsmen, friends and non-friends. Aside from the religious theme—particularly the translating and publishing of the Book of Mormon—Light from the Dust provides poignant scenes from nineteenth-century America. People who are hesitant to read a scholarly volume on events immediately preceding the Restoration will find this book a refreshing way to learn Church history without even trying.