Review of The Face of Heaven
by Murray Pura
Following on the heels of The Wings of Morning, the first book in Murray Pura's Snapshots in History series, comes this compelling saga of the Civil War.
In April 1861, Lyndel Keim discovers two runaway slaves in her family's barn. When the men are captured and returned to their plantation, Lyndel and her young Amish beau, Nathaniel King, find themselves at odds with their pacifist Amish colony
Nathaniel enlists in what will become the famous Iron Brigade of the Union Army. Lyndel enters the fray as a Brigade nurse on the battlefield, sticking close to Nathaniel as they both witness the horrors of war--including the battles at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Antietam. Despite the pair's heroic sacrifices, the Amish only see that Lyndel and Nathaniel have become part of the war effort, and both are banished.
And a severe battle wound at Gettysburg threatens Nathaniel's life. Lyndel must call upon her faith in God to endure the savage conflict and to face its painful aftermath, not knowing if Nathaniel is alive or dead. Will the momentous battle change her life forever, just as it will change the course of the war and the history of her country?
The Face of Heaven is a dramatic story that will release on the 150th anniversary of the historic battle of Antietam, September, 1862.
Murray Pura is one of a few men who are successfully penning Amish romantic fiction. The Face of Heaven has something for male readers as well as female readers. This piece of historical fiction beautifully expresses the pain, suffering, and horror of a war that pitted brother against brother. Nathaniel, Lyndel, and Levi leave their Amish roots and farmlands to enter the action of the Civil War. They seek to bring healing to a nation and an end to slavery of fellow humans.
This book was particularly interesting to me as I grew up in Appomattox, Virginia. Lee surrendered to Grant in the McLean House in Appomattox and it was pleasing to see the accuracy of the details in Murray Pura's writing. Reading historical fiction, in this case, left me with a hope for the future. I was able to look back at where we have been and dream ahead to where we still might venture. This book will touch your heart as you agonize, along with the main characters, at choices that had to be made....choices that drove families apart.....choices that pitted north against south....choices that begged freedom or slavery...choices....choices....make the choice to read this incredible story and look into "the face of heaven".
About the Author:
Murray Pura earned his Master of Divinity degree from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and his ThM degree from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to his writing, Murray has pastored churches in Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Alberta. His work has been shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award and many others. Murray writes from his home in southern Alberta near the Rocky Mountains. Visit his website: http://www.murraypura.com/.
I won a copy of this book from the publisher through a contest on Suzanne Wood Fisher's blog. I have expressed my own opinions based on my personal reading of this book.