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Review: Pinkston's "Season of Sacrifice"

Sarah Williams is a young Welsh immigrant, coming to Utah to join her sister Mary Ann Perkins. When the Perkins are asked to join the San Juan mission to pioneer a trail through Southern Utah, they take Sarah along to help care for the children. But a six-week journey turns into six agonizing months of hard work and toil as the Saints blast their way through a cliff to bring their wagons through what would become the famous Utah landmark “Hole-in-the-Rock.”

Finally settled in the San Juan, Sarah’s true hardship begins when Ben Perkins asks her to be his second wife. With their faith and testimonies challenged to the core, both Sarah and Mary Ann struggle to find the true meaning of Christ-like love and obedience. Will they make it through?

This is a fantastic book. I was able to read it when it was still in manuscript form and absolutely loved it. Tristi Pinkston has this book for sale on her website and it is a must own!

This book is about her great-grandparents. He became well-known in Utah history by being the man who engineered the entire journey through the blasting and traveling through "Hole in the Rock." Truly a man of tremendous talent as well as honor.

Tristi has skillfully woven the accurate account of her ancestors into a fascinating story which will quickly become a favorite across the world.

I'm so proud of her! Click here to purchase your copy of her latest book. She's done it again!

I was lucky enough to interview her and I'm excited to share Tristi Pinkston with you.
1. Tristi, Season of Sacrifice was a story that just wouldn't go away. Can you tell us a little about why you felt so compelled to tell it?

Season of Sacrifice is the true story of my great-great-grandfather, who engineered the passage through the Hole in the Rock in southern Utah. I've grown up hearing stories about him (we're kind of proud of him) and his legacy has always been a strong part of my background. When I came across the family history books that have been written about him, I knew I had to tell the story. It fell in my lap and pretty much wrote itself, too.

2. I was fascinated by the story and the struggles your ancestors faced. Can you tell me how what you learned about them has influenced you today?

Well, first of all, it's made me even more proud to be their descendant. With that kind of heritage, I feel as though I'm built to be able to take anything life comes my way. Of course, whether or not I do it is up to me, but knowing I have that kind of faith and tenacity in my blood helps me when I feel like I can't go any further. I also admire the strong faith they had in Jesus Christ. If I could emulate that and cultivate that kind of faith within myself, nothing could stand in my way, just as nothing could stand in theirs.

3. Polygamy is a particularly touchy subject, especially with the shenanigans and illegal activities of the FLDS. How do you address polygamy in this book and why is it different?

I address it as it was -- polygamy was not something these men did for the fun of it. They did it because they wanted to be obedient, not because they were trying to start a Mormon meat market. It caused these faithful Saints untold agony to share their husbands and to take other wives. My great-great-grandfather was deeply in love with his wife and had no desire to take another, but when the command came, he wanted to be obedient. I show the deep emotional anguish he went through as he reconciled his will to God's, and I show the heartbreak his wife endured.

Polygamy in the early days of the LDS Church was much different than is currently being practiced by the FLDS Church. As you know, Candace, the two churches are not affiliated, despite the way the media keeps mixing them up. We as an LDS Church do not endorse the beliefs or practices of the FLDS Church. They are breaking the law, keeping their women and children in the Dark Ages in regards to education and personal freedoms, and turning their teenagers into brood mares. We do not support this type of behavior. The LDS Church no longer practices polygamy and has not since 1890. Anyone within the LDS Church who is found to be practicing it is excommunicated immediately.

4. The Hole in the Rock was a tremendous undertaking. A large part of your story takes place around the creation of the Hole in the Rock. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

In southern Utah, a little ways south of Escalante, the land gives way in a cliff that goes down to the Colorado River and Lake Powell. The Saints were attempting to go from Cedar City to Bluff, pretty much a straight shot across the state, but these cliffs brought their journey to a standstill. They extend for quite a distance and going around, for various reasons, wasn't possible. It was decided that the Saints would create a road going down the cliff face. They used blasting powder to widen a notch that already naturally existed in the top of the cliff, and from there, they created a road that basically hung in mid-air. It was steep, it was dangerous, and it was impossible, at least by man's perception. But they did it, and the road they created was actually used for many years until another was built.

5. What do you attribute your greatest writing successes to?

I've had a strong support system in the form of my paternal grandparents and my parents. They never expressed doubt that I could fulfill my dreams. My husband and children are also immensely proud of me and support me in the hours I spend at the computer, although there are times I'm sure they'd rather be on the computer themselves. Too bad! It's mine!

As far as the actual writing process goes, I'm a firm believer in tapping into the creative power we each have imbedded in our spirits. Each of us came into this world with the power to create. For some, it's the power to create fabulous food. Or art. Or music. Or friendships. We are all partners with God in creation as we seek to develop our talents. When we honor that gift of creation, it flows more naturally and we are helped to achieve more than we ever would on our own.

6. What is your best advice for those who wish to become published writers?

Send your writing to trusted friends to read it for you. Listen to what they have to say. Some of their advice won't really work for your project, but most of it will be valid and you should weigh carefully what you're being told. Be humble enough to listen to the advice you're given, and strong enough to slough off any negativity.

7. You have three historical fiction novels under your belt now, what is next?

I've been dabbling with contemporary stories lately. It's a whole different ballgame, let me just say. I've been used to having a timeline in place and working with moving my characters from one place to another depending on where they should be historically, and showing their reactions to those historical events. When you write contemporary, that timeline isn't there and you have a lot more freedom to create the movements of your characters. On the one hand, it's freeing, but on the other, I feel a little out of control because there's not a pre-existing structure. There are pluses and minuses to writing either genre, that's for sure.
Season of Sacrifice is a must buy for the home library. Tristi has knocked it out of the park one more time!

Thanks for dropping by, Tristi. It's been great having you visit Dream a little dream . . .
Review: Pinkston's "Season of Sacrifice" Review: Pinkston's "Season of Sacrifice" Reviewed by Candace Salima on Thursday, May 01, 2008 Rating: 5