Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Review of Secrets in Zarahemla from Association for Mormon Letters

by Sariah S. Wilson

First, before I get into the review part, let me just take a moment to ask if anyone has suggestions for food that doesn't taste bad. Right now everything tastes bad. Everything. Even stuff I love takes awful. When I watch movies/TV and they have a pregnant lady who eats everything in sight - I don't get it. I'm never at a point where I could eat like that. I only eat now because I have to. So I'm looking for recommendations, mostly from those who have been pregnant and suffered from the same sort of affliction. Did you find anything you could eat that didn't make you want to die?

But on to happier news - it was a great surprise to open my Inbox the other day and to see my name and book title as the subject line from the AML mailing list that I belong to. It was my first official review from someone not related to me.

And since this is my blog, I will be posting the parts I liked best. :)

Title: Secrets in Zarahemla
Author: Sariah S. Wilson
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Genre: Fiction
Year Published: 2007
Number of Pages: 245
Binding: Trade paperback
ISBN: 978-1-59811-119-4
Price: $15.95

Reviewed by Jeffrey Needle

First-time author Sariah S. Wilson enters the field of Mormon fiction with a fine debut novel, "Secrets in Zarahemla." Blending characters and places from the Book of Mormon with a slim cast of fictional characters, Wilson delivers an exciting and readable account of two unlikely lovers in the midst of the wars between the Lamanites and the Nephites.

Kiah is the only daughter of Captain Moroni. She is unmarried, much to the dismay of her family. One of the prominent men in their city of Zarahemla is Corohan, a warrior and possible suitor of Kiah. But she will have none of him. When, in a minor fight, Kiah bests Corohan, he vows to have her and to destroy her. Unstable and of questionable loyalty to Moroni, Corohan will play a major role in the ongoing struggle between the two tribes.

Jeran is a noble-born son of the Lamanites. Fleeing from his people after refusing to follow their blood-thirsty ways, he meets Kiah and the attraction is immediate and mutual. At first, neither will reveal their royal lineage. But their mixed heritages will create difficulties as the story progresses.

Behind the scenes, there is a plot being hatched by a man named Pachus to take over Zarahemla from its peace-loving people, dismantle Pahoran's court, destroy Captain Moroni, and enslave, or kill, most of the populace. This is a truly evil man, and he manages to ensnare Corohan in his plot. Can he be stopped? Certainly Captain Moroni can prevent the takeover, but he and his army are occupied elsewhere in battle against the advancing armies of the Lamanites.

What follows is a well-paced, nicely told story of faith and disbelief, love and despair, and the triumph of hope against all odds. Wilson keeps the action moving at a good pace -- never too fast, never too slow. Her sense of timing is as good as I've seen in any Mormon novel in recent years. And her characters are nicely drawn. My "close my eyes" test succeeds: can I close my eyes and picture the players? Do they come across as real characters? The answer is, Yes...

..."Secrets in Zarahemla" is a fine first novel. Wilson knows how to write, and I look forward to future efforts from her pen...Covenant has found itself a great new talent.

I was pretty stoked, to say the least. It's one thing when your mom tells you she likes it and quite another when somebody who wasn't pregnant with you for nine months says they like it.


At 3/04/2007 12:23 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Sariah, congratulations on a great review! Very exciting!

At 3/04/2007 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that is great! What an ego-boost it must be to get such a wonderful review. Congratulations!

At 3/04/2007 4:21 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Well, technically I only put in the good parts. There were some criticisms (such as the reviewer felt some modern Mormanity seeped into my novel) and so wherever you see an ellipses, that's where I took stuff out.

Like I said - it was my post so I only put in the good parts. :)

Overall though, even with the criticisms still intact, I think the review was favorable, which was very, very cool.

At 3/05/2007 1:00 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Hey there,

First, cool on the review!!

Second, try cold cereal, the blander the better. I lived on Cheerios, Rice Krispies, and Grape Nuts during my pregnancies.

At 3/05/2007 6:10 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Granola bars were pretty good during my last trimester when I wan't hungry at all. I liked the peanut butter chocolate crunch. Also raw tomatoes can have a soothing affect for the stomach. For kids with upset stomachs the B.R.A.T diet is recommended (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). Good luck and remember - this to shall pass.

At 3/05/2007 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 3/05/2007 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

watermelon or any crisp fruit


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