In honor of Pioneer Day, I bring you a book review on a story about… pioneers!
When I first picked up Season of Sacrifice by Tristi Pinkston, I have to admit feeling a little intimidated by it. It’s a thick book (320+ pages), and the cast of characters looked longer than the cast of a Shakespeare play. J But, I’m happy to share that each character was introduced on its own timetable and not all at once. I didn’t have a bit of trouble keeping them straight as I became involved in the story, and I did become involved enough to forget how long the book was.
My friend Tristi has felt a passion for this story for many years and I’m proud of her for seeing it through to completion. It’s definitely a star in her crown. Season of Sacrifice tells the story of her great-great-grandparents and their part in settling Utah, particularly the famous “Hole in the Rock” (which I’m now dying to see, btw).
History is a strange creature. It doesn’t really have a beginning and doesn’t really have an end. So when you write about history it’s up to you to decide where to start and how far to go. It’s a tough decision, add that to making it interesting for someone else who may not feel as passionate as you do about the subject, and I stand in awe of those who write historical literature of any kind. I’m sure Tristi had to make some tough choices of her own about how and when to start and how much to tell. She did a great job of that, but I must admit that the beginning took a while to hold my interest. I felt that there might have been better ways to weave in the aspects of life in Wales at later times, when the “action” seemed to kick in for me. I enjoyed the sweet scene it set, but it did take me longer to read the first third of the book than the last two-thirds.
Season of Sacrifice is about three things, in my opinion: heritage, pioneering, and polygamy. They each have a place in the story as a whole. I’ve seen reviews for this book, focusing on the history of “Hole in the Rock”, which features prominently in Tristi’s book. I’ve also seen reviews that discuss why she chose to include the polygamy elements of her family history (she does this very well and with great sensitivity, by the way). For me, the most powerful aspects of the story were family and love. It’s about being proud of our ancestors for exactly who they were, not who we would like them to be. It’s a powerful love story about trials and commitment; it’s about the human aspects of life in general. You can see one interview with Tristi and get a closer look at her own thoughts about the story here.
If you’re a history buff, Season of Sacrifice will offer you a new voice of experience to some things you may already be familiar with. If you’re a scholar of the emotions, you’ll feel right at home. If you have relatives of your own that you value for their unique contributions, you’ll recognize Tristi’s passion for family. There is definitely something for everyone between its covers. Any way you look at it, Season of Sacrifice is a great and satisfying read.
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