This is an awe-inspiring, faith-promoting, testimony-building story about Swedish immigrants who forsake their homeland and religion to join the Mormon Church in the nineteenth century. The story is skillfully written by Dr. William K. Ickes, Professor Emeritus of Texas Tech University. Since his baptism at age eight, Ickes has been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is a great-grandson of John Christenson and Johanna Herling, subjects of this book.
Ickes makes his characters come alive through the use of fiction techniques, through the words, emotions and actions of people who fight persecution, prejudice, and poverty to make their way across rattlesnake-infested, sagebrush-strewn plains to reach their Land of Zion.
To find some relief from the inordinate amount of work required of pioneer women, Christena, John's first wife, allows her husband to take a second wife, Johanna. Christena soon finds that her physical stress is replaced with emotional upheaval. Just as John's two families learn to live together in harmony, they are forced to separate by the non-Mormon "crusade" designed to stamp out polygamy. Johanna and her children are forced to live in a log cabin to keep John from being arrested because of newly formulated anti-polygamy legislation.
This is a sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, always stirring story of love, adventure, and spiritual insight. [publisher's blurb]