Journalist Solonnah Zee is assigned to cover the murder of Kristen Young, a young Utah heiress. The murder is not a ordinary murder, but one with strange carvings on the body and a note written in the weird symbols of the Deseret Alphabet of the early Mormon Church. This alphabet was designed by Joseph Smith with the writing of’ ‘The Book of Mormon’. The crimes soon escalate with the mutilated body of a long dead prostitute, the death of a hunter, a nameless man, a homeless old lady and the kidnapping of three men from a nursing home. Messages written in the Deseret Alphabet were left at each crime scene.
Who is behind these crimes? Are these incidents occurring to embarrass the LDS (Latter Day Saints) Church? What ties these crimes to the recent bombings of the Masonic Temples in Salt Lake City, Utah? Publicity like this is the last thing the LDS Church needs and it will do almost anything to protect themselves.
The author, an ex-Mormon, goes to great lengths to point out the differences between modern LDS doctrine, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s Mormonism. She has first hand knowledge of workings of the Mormon Church, but it is clear she had never been a worker in the temple. The book can be very confusing and hard to understand as it is sometimes difficult for Christians to comprehend the acts and rites of the LSD members and their doctrines.
Fundamental and practicing Mormons will be offended by the book, no doubt. However, it is recommended for those considering joining the LDS Church or have questions or doubts about their faith. It is a true eye-opener.
This book was supplied as a review copy by the publisher.
When I saw that Eternal on the Water was going to be the January’s First Look book selection, I have to be honest and tell you that I didn’t know much about either the book or its author, Joseph Monninger. However, the blurb regarding the book was enough to incite my curiosity. So, I sent my message and eagerly awaited the arrival of this novel and the opportunity to discuss it.
I would love to be able to say that the book lived up to the promises in the blurb from the start. Alas, the opposite was true. In sticking with a current trend in fiction, the ending was revealed in the prologue. I am not sure why this trend exists. For me, it is akin to skipping to the last couple of chapters of a book, just to see how it ends. I personally prefer to be kept in suspense, wondering what might happen in the next chapter and around the bend.
Still, I kept going. The book is only 344 pages long, which should be an easy two-hour read. Unfortunately, it was actually very slow going. The lead male character (Cobb) is on sabbatical tracing Thoreau’s trip down the Allagash river. It is here that Cobb meets Mary. Stories about crows and pretentiousness about Thoreau ensue for about six chapters. It is here that we meet the Chungamunga girls and the story picks up for a little while. But, like the river, this story ebbs and flows, picks up speed during the rapids and then slows to a babbling brook.
There are many references in the novel that make me wonder if there is a companion novel where the characters show and if I am missing something. While I live my life in randomness, I am not sure if I appreciate that in what I read. There are many points where Monninger interjects comments that had me checking several pages earlier to make sure I didn’t miss something (and no, I didn’t).
In the last few chapters, Monninger almost redeems the story…almost. The resolution leaves you wondering if you would help your loved one make the same choices if faced with the same inevitable ending. If you knew there was nothing you could do to change the fact that life would end, would you help it to end on his or her terms?
I end in the middle on this novel. I again rate a book based on its re-readability. I would probably read this one again, but it wouldn’t be at the top of my have-to read pile.
This is Derrick’s last season and he wants desperatly to win another championship ring to fulfill a promise he made. He already has two rings, but needs a third for a reason only he and his wife know. Derrick is a family man, deeply rooted in his faith, living his life by God’s grace.
Aaron is an arrogrant playboy, king of the hill, living only for the moment and the adoration of the fans and media, with no time for God. Aaron has a couple championship rings and thinks that winning this season would be great, but it’s not something he is overly concerned about. After all, he has his whole life ahead of him to win Super Bowls, right?
Jay is young and a little shy, this being his first season in the NFL. He wants to fit in with the team and is awe struck by Derrick and Aaron. He has some faith, but is not completely committed.
San Francisco has a large contigent of foster kids. Megan Gunn volunteers at the Youth Center as well. She is a single foster mom to Cory. Amy, Cory’s mother, had been a close friend to Megan before she died tragically. Cory is a big fan of the 49ers. Derrick is a very compassionate person and tries to reach out to the kids. In the off season, he hosts pizza parties at a Youth Center. Derrick gives away five game tickets each week at the pizza party. Cory wants desperately to win a ticket and attend a game because Cory has a secret – he believes he is the son of one of the 49er players. Megan, of course, doesn’t believe him, attributing his belief to the fact that he so wants a father. She thinks this is just his fantasy and tries to discourage him, but Cory insists his mother told him and his mother did not lie.
Kingsbury takes you through the hopes, dreams, injuries, disappointments and trials of the coach and his players in the NFL. Will they make it to the Super Bowl, and if so, what are their chances of a win? The novel clearly points out that we are not defined by what we do on Sunday, but what we do Monday through Saturday. Between Sundays is a novel for all ages, and especially NFL and 49ers fans.