From Publishers Weekly
This well-researched historical novel reconstructs the lives of two 19th-century African-American converts to Mormonism. Elijah Abel, the first African-American man ordained to the LDS priesthood, carried the message of Joseph Smith to whites and free blacks on three separate missions in the 1830s and '40s. Young and Gray have used the license of fiction to elucidate large areas of Abel's life, including his childhood, about which little is known. In recounting the life of convert Jane Manning James, however, they have rendered events quite closely to what she recorded herself in her autobiography. The interwoven narratives work surprisingly well as a single novel, though some of the LDS characters are a bit too saintly for reality. (Sept.)
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