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Contents:
  1. In the Company of Angels
  2. In the Company of Angels: A Novel: Thomas E. Kennedy: Bloomsbury USA
  3. “I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It in 20 Years”

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In the Company of Angels

The L. Taco Horoscopes for September, September 6, View 1 comment. May 04, Shelah rated it it was amazing. One of the most touching stories is of the grandma and grandpa who traveled to Utah with the Martin Handcart Company. After pulling their baby thousands of miles, she died shortly before the family reached Salt Lake City. Unwilling to leave her behind, exposed, on the frozen ground, they wrapped up her body, hid it in the handcart, and she's now buried in the Salt Lake City cemetery. In the Company of Angels documents the experience the approximately members of the Willie Handcart Company had crossing the plains in the summer and fall of they were traveling the same route as the Martin Handcart Company, but had a head start of about ten days.

It was a hard journey, so understandably, this is a hard story to read, a story filled with pain, blood, disease, tears, sweat, snakes, treachery, death and lots and lots of ice and snow. Emily M my partner in reading the Whitney books for Segullah reviewed the book already for the Segullah blog, and I agree with what she's written.

In the Company of Angels: A Novel: Thomas E. Kennedy: Bloomsbury USA

I finished the book last night, and I can't get the characters and the situation out of my mind. I think part of it is because Farland does a darn good job with his characters, but also because the story is part of our cultural history, and part of my through marriage at least family history.

It's people willing to follow leaders despite those leaders' weaknesses, people willing to cross an ocean and then pull their belongings across a continent, people willing to pray when it seemed like all hope was lost, people willing to pack up their dead baby daughter so she could be laid to rest in Zion, these are the people whose blood is running through my children, and who represent some of the enduring traits of strength and faith and hard work that we value as a culture today.

I think anyone who lays claim to this cultural heritage and who values the freedoms and benefits we have as a people today wonders how they would have stood the test of traveling with a handcart company. Farland allows readers to experience the journey through the eyes of Baline, a young Danish immigrant, Captain Willie, the missionary chosen to lead the group, and Eliza Gadd, a non-Mormon Englishwoman traveling with her family of converts. They all experience heartache and loss and are all transformed by the experience.

I appreciate that Farland didn't excuse Franklin Richards who made the ultimate call to send the Saints out late in the season and ill-equipped and chose not to pitch in and help when he could have made a big difference in the journey's outcome , and also showed the inner struggles of Willie, who bore the day to day burden of carrying the company.

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It's interesting reading a historical novel when you already know the history. As the Saint set out with hope in their hearts and smiles on their faces, I knew, as a reader, that disease and despair and death waited for them down the trail. So did Farland, but he didn't change the story. When I read books like this, I often imagine that it's somewhat similar to the experience Heavenly Father might have in relation to us. He knows us, he loves us, he helps us when we ask for it, but knowing what will happen to us based on the choices that we make doesn't mean that he'll step in and make sure those hard things don't happen.


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Jul 18, Teri rated it it was amazing. As I have two ancestors from the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies, I was excited to read David's manuscript of this horrifying, yet courageous and heartbreaking story. With the early Saints selling their homes to come to Zion in , there were some that had to come by handcart. Due to unforeseen delays, mostly caused b y the Crimean War that caused delays in ships to sail from England, that when they arrived in Iowa, they found no handcarts made.

This delayed the Saints even more. One of t As I have two ancestors from the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies, I was excited to read David's manuscript of this horrifying, yet courageous and heartbreaking story. One of the sub-captains of The Willie Company attempted to get the Saints to wait for a season to embark on such a long and hard journey, especially with the late start.

The main body trusted Captain James Willie, mostly because he'd traveled the trail fifty times. I liked how David had the three main Saints telling their story in each chapter, bringing it more up close and personal. Eliza Gadd, a proud English 41 year old, was the only non Mormon in The Company, though her husband, Samuel, and their older children were. Due to her father being seduced by fakirs and spiritualists, she didn't believe in God.

She felt during the trek that all the Saints were fools. Since she was apparantly the only nurse in the Company, she attended to everyone's needs. Captain Willie tried to keep the Saints together and healthy. He was a very compassionate man, praying to God for guidance all along the way.

He totally had his people at heart, only thinking of them and their welfare. He did start having his doubts that God was listening to his prayers, but he never gave up, even assisting several children and women across a freezing creek when his own legs were frozen. Baline Mortenson, a young ten year old Danish girl, did all she could to keep up the spirits of everyone in The Company. She assisted approx 20 children several miles up Rocky Ridge, even so much as pulling a handcart herself. Her parents had sent her alone to make the trek, but then, some parents did just that, to save money, until the rest of the family could come later.

This is a huge faith-promoting story, filled with faith, love and hope and a strong Testimony of The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Willie Handcart Company had to weather storms we couldn't even fathom or dream of, such as sub-zero temperatures, Indians, floods, buffalo stampedes, utter starvation, blizzards, etc, I can't recommend this historical novel enough.

It is a wonderful, heartbreaking, faith-promoting, Testimony building true masterpiece!!!! You'll need a ton of Kleenex, so be prepared. And, this is my kind of book to read, especially since this happened and it happened to two of my ancestors. This book is due out on 1 Sep, so you'll need to go to www. I plan to, as I want my own special hardbound copy.

Published Sep by David Farland isbn pp Hardbound Aug 04, Vivian rated it liked it Shelves: novels. I am a great great grand-daughter and a great great great grand-daughter of two members of the Willie Handcart Company of Not one of these was from my Scottish family--all women except a six-year-old boy. However, this book does not include any narrative of my family, except a mention of their rescuer--a son and brother who was already in Utah and had ur I am a great great grand-daughter and a great great great grand-daughter of two members of the Willie Handcart Company of However, this book does not include any narrative of my family, except a mention of their rescuer--a son and brother who was already in Utah and had urged them by letter to come in all haste.

The strongest points of this author's narrative include his research and traveling to various sites of the trail during the time of year and weather conditions they would have experienced, his experience with story crafting, and the afterword which includes brief biographies of some of the people he included in his interpretation of their story. I appreciated his chapter by chapter disclosure of "what's true and what's not" which he includes at the end of the book. I wish I'd read that first as it would have encouraged me to pay better attention while reading.

I felt Lund was simply plugging 20th Century characters into a 19th Century experience. I could not gag down his audacity.


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It seemed to me that he trivialized them, misrepresented them, and misunderstood them. Their was one person in the Willie Company who had not been baptised a "Mormon". The author weaves her voice with the voices of others to examine the experience from several points of view. Aug 03, Natasha rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , pioneers. It is impossible for me to be objective in rating this book because I identify so closely with the story.


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I have read every primary and secondary account of the Willie Handcart Company that I could find, which amounts to easily a hundred sources. I love how It is impossible for me to be objective in rating this book because I identify so closely with the story. Even more, I love the sage and loving counsel Bodil is given by Jens Nielsen.

I found some of the story regarding Captain Willie and other women in the company a bit irksome because I did not get out of my research the extrapolations he makes of their characters. That said, I applaud Farley for telling this story and self-publishing it. Where Farley focuses on the physical journey, my story unites both the physical and spiritual aspects of the journey.

Nov 04, Clark rated it really liked it Shelves: religion.

“I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It in 20 Years”

Eliza Chapman [Gadd:] was my 4th great grandmother, and her daughter, Mary Ann Gadd, was my 3rd great grandmother. Samuel Gadd of course was my 4th great grandfather. I had five other direct-line ancestors in the Willie handcart company, including William James, who was buried at the common grave at Rock Creek, and Ann Jewell [Rowley:] who is mentioned in the book. For all of these reasons, I loved the novel and read it with much delight. I hesitate to rate it a full five stars as other reviewer Eliza Chapman [Gadd:] was my 4th great grandmother, and her daughter, Mary Ann Gadd, was my 3rd great grandmother.

I hesitate to rate it a full five stars as other reviewers have for a few reasons. First, I believe the dialogue between Eliza and Baline, when Baline rightly accuses Eliza of intellectual barbarism is stilted and quite improbable for a ten-year-old girl who has only spoken English for a few months. Second, Eliza's extended consideration of thermo-dynamics and the "mathematics" of caloric intake is so out of place that it's jarring.

I'm not saying she wouldn't have considered something like this and realized what was going on, but the language and concepts used are so modern that once again my "suspension of disbelief" was lost. Third, there is a scene when Eliza is shown how to take the "safety" off her muzzle-loading revolver; of course revolvers do not have safeties. I believe that with another editing pass under a strong hand the novel could have been superb.

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Instead, it was good and quite enjoyable. May 01, Taffy rated it really liked it Shelves: reads. At first I was a little taken aback by the viewpoint her choose of the one non-LDS pioneer in the company. But as I read, I saw the strength in this character. I already had a soft spot in my heart for Bodine, but after David's sketch of her, I loved her more.