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Feb 18

Only the Brave by Gerald N. Lund

Only the Brave by Gerald N. Lund

Only the Brave by Gerald N. Lund

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.

My Review:

Only the Brave is a well-researched glimpse into the lives of early Mormon pioneers settling in the San Juan River region. Lund uses his fictional characters to bring to life actual historic events. He captures a sense of adventure as we follow Matt on a special expedition, then on to work on the railroad, and finally to settle a new area and begin his dream of having a ranch of his own. The budding romance between Matt and Edie is sweet and charming. The encounters with the Indians are palpably tense. Overall, it’s a great read for those who are interested in stories of the pioneers.

I appreciated the notes that the author included; however, I would have preferred if he had left them all for the very end of the book. Having notes at the end of each chapter pulled me away from the story. Also, I felt like the Preface to the book was lengthy and unnecessary.

If you enjoyed The Undaunted, then you will certainly love Only the Brave.

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.

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