This is a great resolution of Camilla’s story, which begins in For Time and Eternity and stops with an abrupt cliffhanger at the end of that book. We see Camilla moving forward through going back, returning to the faith and family she left as a girl. As with the first book, this is a fascinating look at the early Mormon era, not only the Mormon faith itself but also life in general at that time. I would have liked to see more of the conflict between the US military and the Mormon settlements, but I understand why it wouldn’t have fit well into Camilla’s journey.
This book felt more modern in style than the first one; I noted some phrasing that seemed historically inaccurate. But it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story. The author’s emphasis on the Word of God and salvation through Christ alone is refreshing. Because of the subject matter (polygamy) involved in the setting, there’s some insinuation and some threads that feel a bit like a soap opera—who is marrying whose husband? But it’s handled well and in a fairly factual manner. There were only a couple of scenes that were intimate enough to make me a little uncomfortable. I think one of the greatest indicators of Camilla’s growing faith was how her attitude toward her husband’s other wife changed. She was able to view the situation with sorrow and even sympathy rather than vengeance.
I really appreciated that this book didn’t force the story to bow to a typical romance plot. At the same time, while I loved Colonel Brandon’s protectiveness, it was very difficult for me to see him as a devout Christian while he was openly admitting his love for a still-married woman. In that era, it would be scandalous for a dedicated Christian man to marry a divorcée, much less hint to her while she was still married that her marriage would be temporary. I applauded Camilla’s resolve in their friendship, but she seemed unwise to keep as much contact as she did when she knew his desires. (Private Lambert, on the other hand, was a sweetheart.) Also, it’s difficult for me to root for divorce as resolution, no matter how necessary and justified. These are my main reasons for the four-star rating.
Once again, don’t miss the author’s notes. This is a book set in a unique time and place showing a unique character dealing with unique circumstances as best she knows how. It’s a story of faith, family, and friendship, and a good close to the Sister Wife duology.