Forsaking All Others by Allison Pittman is a sequel to her earlier novel, For Time and Eternity. I thought I previously reviewed For Time and Eternity here but if I did, I can’t find it. It’s likely I decided not to review it “publicly” out of deference to some LDS friends and family.
However, I am a reader and a writer and enough of a grownup to know how to separate out personal feelings about religion and faith when I talk about a book.
So, I best start with For Time and Eternity.
Camilla Deardon is intrigued with the Mormons encamped near her family farm in Iowa. Charming Nathan Fox begins to accompany Camilla on her walk to school, against her father’s strict orders. Raised by sincere but emotionally distant parents, Camilla is attracted to the joy and fellowship evident in the Saints’ camp and she soon agrees to join them and to marry Nathan and continue on their journey to Zion. They have two daughters. Life is good for the Fox family, until two events: the loss of their infant son and Nathan decides to take a second wife. Camilla remembers her early Bible teaching and determines that she must leave her now adulterous marriage. She gets lost in a snow storm and is … Yep, that’s the cliffhanger ending.
Forsaking All Others picks up immediately. Camilla Fox is rescued by the U.S. Army. She is torn between returning to her beloved Nathan or leaving him and the church. If she leaves, does that mean leaving her daughters behind? How can she go back to her parents’ home when they have returned unopened every letter Camilla sent?
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that it left me vaguely dissatisfied. I would have liked just a smidgen more of a promise of a ‘happily ever after.’
Pittman writes knowledgeably about LDS history, the early days in Utah, and the battles over polygamy, both in theology and as they were likely played out in the homes of sister wives.
I recommend both books. I’ve also read one other by Pittman, Stealing Home, set in the early days of professional baseball. I really enjoyed that one, as well.