As this standalone sequel to The Undaunted begins, four years have passed since the first Mormon pioneers made the harrowing journey to carve the Hole-in-the-Rock trail to the region of the San Juan River in southeastern Utah. In that time, the settlers have dug in deep to try to establish roots in this untamed and unforgiving desert, but life is still far from easy. Biting winds, devastating floods, scorching heat, barren terrain, and tensions with everyone from Indians to outlaws to competing ranchers have threatened the pioneers' ability to thrive—or even survive.
But the call from Church leaders to establish peaceful, stable settlements in the volatile region still stands, so young Mitch Westland and his family must find a way to make a home amid the harshest of circumstances. They soon learn that their only chance of success lies in uniting together with the other faithful Saints—including the Zimmers and their charming daughter, Edie. Can the families withstand the blows that seem to come every step of the way as they struggle against man, nature, and their own fears to heed a prophetic call? Many settlers will try to conquer that rugged territory, but only the brave will prevail.
I'm glad that this book is a stand-alone sequel to The Undaunted, which I have not had a chance to read yet. Even though I grew up in Utah, I didn't know much at all about the pioneers' struggle to settle in the San Juan area, so this book was quite the eye opener to me. As with his other books, I appreciate that the author adds historical footnotes at the end of each chapter.
As I think about these pioneers and all they went through to settle these new lands, the thing that sticks out to me is the heat. Boy, I'm sure glad we have air conditioning these days! The Moab area can get pretty hot in the summer - I can only imagine how uncomfortable they were!
I read this book right after reading "A Generation Rising" also by Gerald Lund. I found the other book more captivating, but I did enjoy this one enough to look forward to reading the sequel when it comes out, as well as reading "The Undaunted" so I can learn more about the brave San Juan pioneers.
About the Author:
Elder Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He served for thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, and he served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He is a prolific and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction and is best known for his historical novels, including The Work and the Glory series, Fire of the Covenant, The Kingdom and the Crown series, and The Undaunted. He and his late wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.
Title: Only the Brave: The Continuing Saga of the San Juan Pioneers
Author: Gerald N. Lund
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Published: December 8, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Purchase: Deseret Book Amazon