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The Veil by Diane Noble

The Veil

by Diane Noble

Series: The Cult (1)

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It is the 1800's and in Utah there are members of a secluded religious group who claim that they just want to be left alone to practice their beliefs without persecution. They are called the Saints (Mormons) and engage in secret vows and brutal acts of atonement and do it all in the name of God. Some, like Hannah McClary dares to question what is going on among these people that she has grown up with and so will Lucas, who has been trained since childhood to kill on behalf of the Church.

Then there is also a group of pioneer families who are in a wagon train heading for California and have the misfortune of eventually traveling through Mountain Meadows, Utah where tragedy will bring tears to your eyes. You will appreciate Ellie and her family as they travel across the country and discover the strength and love these folks have in the Lord, even amidst hardships and also with Ellie being pregnant. What a difference you will see in the lives of these two different groups of people. And when the book climaxes with these two groups coming together, let's just say, be prepared to have your emotions be all over the board.

My eyes were opened to the history of this cult and what people believed and did among the Saints. I was angry, sad, disheartened and then given hope as I see three people fight to leave and discover the truth about who God really is and how much He loves them. I also felt like I was there with the wagon train as these people endured so much to get to their final home in California. But I will warn you to have some Kleenex handy when you get near the end of the book, because you will definitely need them. Diane Noble is an award-winning author of historical fiction and she did a great job of taking something that really happened in history and weaving a story around it. ( )
  judyg54 | Jun 22, 2015 |
This is a work of fiction taken from the history books. A little known portion of our nation’s western history and the Morman church is told by Diane Noble. She has taken a portion of history that is generally ignored, and weaves a story that holds the reader enthralled. Though most of the characters are fictitious, the story of the wagon train attacked by Mormans is true. The story is spellbinding and well worth the time taken to read it. ( )
  wearylibrarian | Nov 24, 2010 |
Francine Rivers definitely got it right with her endorsement that's printed on the front of this book: "Prepare to burn the midnight oil." Just so you know....she was not kidding. I was awake past midnight the past 2 nights reading this fabulous book. :o) Even though I am a Christian, I am intrigued by the Mormon culture, and occasionally like to read something that gives me a better understanding of their history and lifestyle, and why they believe what they do.

While reading this book, I thought about what life must have been like back then. The events in the book take place just shortly before the Civil War, and it's just heartbreaking to think of how much killing took place back then. I don't understand how a society (the Mormons) could believe in blood atonement--a person giving up their own life to atone for their own personal sins to achieve a higher level of godhood when they make it to their own planet. There are some serious brainwashing issues there, in my opinion.

Of course, I don't even have to mention the obvious issues with some of the things that are the central basis of Mormon belief, although the multiple wives issue is no longer a part of the Mormon theology, just the FLDS (Fundementalist Church of Latter-Day Saints). There is one scene in the book where a wedding takes place, and the bride is given a new name just before the ceremony. When her groom leans to ask her new name, she gives it to him, and he explains to her that this new name will be hers after death when they get to their planet. She'll only be welcomed there once her groom calls her by her new name, not her old. The problem with this is the groom is the one who can get her into heaven (along with all his other wives), not God. More brainwashing issues....

The emotions in this book are all over the place, and I mean that in a good way. There were times when I was happy, sad, shocked, and in tears. I also loved that the story was told from both sides--the Mormons on one side, the people from the wagon train on the other--and even though I knew how things would play out, it helped to see everything from both sides. I couldn't help but grieve for both Ellie (from the wagon train) and Hannah (from the Mormon community)--Ellie because of the pregnancy that she had to live through while driving a rig across the country, and Hannah because of what she's forced into once she's an adult.

No doubt about it, this book will definitely be a keeper for me and loaned out many times, I'm sure! This is a 5-star book, hands down! ( )
  southernsassygirl | Jul 8, 2009 |
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Hannah McClary is being raised by her aunt, who is a member of the religious group known as the Saints. Hannah questions many of their beliefs, but obeys for the sake of her aunt. But she soon discovers a terrible secret beneath the group's benovolence.… (more)

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