Friday, August 19, 2011


 All That Was Promised, by Vickie Hall, is set in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales during 1847 when a Mormon missionary is first noticed by Reverend Richard Kenyon. After a rock hits Ben Lachlan on the head, Richard takes him home and listens raptly to Ben’s message of the restored gospel. Questions he’d always had, yet dared not voice, are answered, and Richard wants to be baptized right away.

Richard’s wife, Leah, watches with horror as her husband embraces this strange religion and renounces his ministry. He’s always been a minister, a man of God; this was how he supported them. But, when Leah’s sister, Clair, and her husband, Samuel, hear of Richard’s interest in the new religion, they trust Richard’s judgment and also investigate. Leah doesn’t know how things will ever be right again, until she reluctantly takes her troubles to the Lord.
When Richard is called as the new Branch President, he and Leah are given many promises in return for their sacrifices and dedication—the main one that Leah is interested in is the promise of family. She’s lost several babies and the couple long for a family of their own.
All That Was Promised is a tale of conversions, miracles, and the persecutions that seemed to follow the early Saints. It shows with great clarity the blessings that can be ours if we follow the Lord—as well as what can happen when we listen to the wrong voice.
Robert Kenyon (Richard’s brother), married Abigail for wealth and connections. She does set him with the right people; but at what cost? They quit attending Richard’s congregation and connect themselves with the affluent minister on the other side of town. Abigail responds to Robert’s lack of love by taking her frustrations out on their daughter, Amelia.
With each passing day, Robert hates his wife more and more. He hates what she does to him and he especially hates how she treats Amelia. He responds by drinking, and by lashing out at Abigail, but does nothing to help his daughter. He has already started drinking more than is normal or polite when John Morgan comes to town spreading his lies about the Mormons and encouraging the locals’ violent response to their neighbor’s conversions. Before long, Robert is convinced that he must do the unthinkable—pay to have his brother killed in order to save the Kenyon name.
All That Was Promised is told through many points of view, and Vickie Hall takes us from one to the other seamlessly and skillfully. She writes with knowledge of Wales during the 1800’s, and I was pulled into their lives and trials, and easily envisioned their town and the surrounding countryside. The story is compelling and heartfelt—and it made me appreciate the easiness of my life. The multiple viewpoints help to round out the story, and give the reader an eagle-eye view of the hard life these early Saints led. Good job, Vickie Hall!

(I was given a copy of All That Was Promised to review. This in no way influenced my review.)
If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, click on this link for the novel:

Learn more about Vickie Hall at her author’s site:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Good Grief!!! Did you know it was hot in Arizona? I mean, I knew it was hot, but still ... It's a different kind of hot when you're outside standing in it instead of sitting in the livingroom writing. I started a new job as an Instructional Assistant (teacher's aide) last week. I get to be a crossing guard from 7am to 7:45. I must say that I was a little nervous about that since I'd never done it before, but come to find out ... Everyone loves the crossing guard!!! So, even though I'm standing outside, the weather's not too bad that early in the morning, and everyone is friendly.

Morning recess in 45 minutes (for me). The grades come out at different times so that the older kids don't pick on the younger ones. Good idea. It's hotter at 10am, for sure, but not as hot as noon. That's right. Noon. Each grade is only at lunch recess for about 20 minutes, but me and a couple of other aides are outside the full hour and fifteen minutes of lunch recess. They're out there playing tag football, basketball, jumping rope, and chasing around the playground like it's only 80 degrees outside. I'm standing in the shade getting hotter and hotter, and hotter.

It will be an exciting year (if I live through the heat) and I am excited to work with the kids and to get to know them. When I get to be inside, I help three different teachers, 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 6th grade. Ya just gotta love elementary school!