Before the Dawn

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Reviewed by Dayna Davis, Staff Writer

Before the Dawn by Dean Hughes. Published by Deseret Book.

Leah Sorensen knows she is blunt and abrasive. Ever since her husband died, she has enough to do trying to take care of her farm and raise her two kids. Her attendance at church is sporadic and she knows people don't like her. When the bishop of her ward calls her to be the Relief Society President in the middle of the Depression - she knows he is out of his mind.

This is a very different kind of book. It took me a while to get into it. It's like a movie that has a slow start while it explains the characters and before you know it, you're captivated by the story - for reasons you don't understand. I couldn't tell you if I liked this book. I just know that I had difficulty putting it down after I got past chapter 2 or 3. The book is a bit scary. What we would do today if there was another Depression? People don't live on farms anymore. That made me realize how vulnerable we really are. Also, this book makes you want to be better in life and in callings in the church. Leah really tries hard to do what's right and half the time she's wrong. She learns a lot about humility and judgements and she is truly human. I thought it was compelling, and I've learned a lot from reading it.