I bought this book at the Historical Novel Society Conference because I'd met Eric Swedin and liked him so much. Because the author is an engaging man gifted with knowledge in such a wide range of subjects, I expected his book to be interesting, if not my usual cup of java. Instead, I absolutely loved it.
The Killing of Greybird is a history lesson, theological study, family saga, war novel, mystery, and heartfelt love story all in one, told in words and images as beautiful as any lyrical poem I've ever read. From the evocative opening scenes to the soul-satisfying final pages, this book touched me on so many levels. The characters are such real people and so multi-layered that they quickly became friends I knew I'd miss after turning the last page--even Greybird, who dies before the book begins and I met only through his family's memories. Author Swedin doles out plot twists and revelations with sublime subtlety, then ties everything together for a stirring conclusion that leaves nothing unresolved, and he does it with insights into human nature that resonate with wisdom to rival the scriptures themselves.
When a book can make an Alabama Baptist who grew up in the late seventies feel as if she were part of a family of Latter Day Saints in post-Civil War Utah, you know the author has written an amazing novel. Do yourself a favor and buy your own copy, then set aside some time to visit with the Halliday family of Manti, Utah.