Reviewed by Amy Sondova
For Time And Eternity by Allison
"If you like historical fiction, you will love For Time and Eternity."
Not only does For Time and Eternity offer an intriguing look into the early foundations of Mormonism, but Allison Pittman’s book is also a fascinating read. Part of the Sister Wife series, For Time and Eternity follows the story of Camilla, who marries into the Mormon faith as a teenager. As Camilla learns more about Mormon beliefs, she is horrified.
The setting for the story is the 1850’s when the Mormons were traveling to Utah to build a new “Zion” in Salt Lake City. Fifteen year-old Camilla Dearborn meets the enchanting Nathan Fox, who is all good looks and religious zeal. She falls head over heels in love, and decides to run off with the boy when the Mormon travelers decide to leave her small Iowa town.
On the trail, Camilla is immediately baptized into the Mormon faith so she can marry Brother Nathan. The two eventually settle in a small quarry town, which provides the white stone for the temple being built in Salt Lake City, about half a day’s travel away. As the story progresses, Camilla begins to doubt her Mormon beliefs, or rather the Mormon beliefs of her husband, friends, and community. Remembering the Christian teachings she learned as a child, Camilla recommits her life to her Christian God and begs for a way out of her Mormon life, especially when Nathan Fox brings home another wife.
For Time and Eternity is an excellent book because not only does it share the early history of Mormonism (from a Christian author’s perspective), the plot is riveting. From the moment Camilla meets the handsome Nathan Fox on the way to school until her flight for freedom at the end, readers are in the master storyteller Allison Pittman’s hands. Camilla is particularly well-sculpted by the author’s pen—feeling a wide range of believable emotions along with the difficult and wonderful circumstances in her life.
Pittman also carefully tows the line between slamming Mormons and simply explaining why Mormon beliefs contradict Christianity. The author also exposes what cannot be seen at first glance—the heartache of a wife who must accept a sister-wife, the obsession with building families for the afterlife, and the “infallable” words of the prophet. It was as interesting to learn about Mormonism as it was to learn about Camilla’s life in the 1850’s.
If you like historical fiction, you will love For Time and Eternity. It is a superb fit for the ever-expanding genre, but lovers of good literature should also read this book—simply because it is that good.
Sondova is a writer specializing in media writing, including interviews and reviews,
as well as blogging. Having interviewed over
30 of the top musicians, writers, and speakers in the Christian media, Amy has
also written countless columns, reviews, and articles on various topics including
mental illness, self-injury, working with teenagers, and Christianity. As well
as holding a B.A. in communications, Amy holds a M.A. in biblical counseling,
and has worked as a professional therapist. You can visit Amy’s online
playground at BackseatWriter.com which offers a combination interviews, reviews,
personal columns, and photography.