Allison Pittman is very familiar with the world of Mormonism. Her husband left it to become a Christian in high school and she grew up in Utah, the center of Mormonism in America. She now lives in San Antonio, the site of a new Mormon temple.
So when Allison writes an emotional story of a woman married to a member of the Mormon church--when she pens a story so gripping you don't even realize you're being shown the stark differences between Mormonism and Christianity, so deep are you within this woman's heart and mind--readers are about to lose a night of sleep.
Well, I didn't have to lose any sleep -I was given the opportunity of a couple of hours at the dance studio one night, followed by a couple of hours at the dance studio the next afternoon, to finish the book.
I enjoyed this novel very much. I think it's the first fiction book I've ever read that really deals with the inherent theological differences between Mormons and evangelical Christians. Allison Pittman's writing style has the ease and readability of a contemporary novel in the framework of history. For Time and Eternity is easy to read, intriguing, and skillfully shows the subtle deceptions of the Mormon faith.
As I read this novel, my enjoyment was coupled with a sadness and heaviness in my spirit at how inadequately I have understood what Mormons (or as they call themselves, Latter-Day Saints) believe, and how I've never been able to adequately witness to my Mormon acquaintances through the years. Maybe, however, as Allison Pittman says in the interview concluding the book, all that we need to do is love them. And I have. And I pray that they will seek and find the true person of Jesus Christ as our Savior, not as our "brother."
(Slight spoiler alert!) Unfortunately for those who like a "happily-ever-after" ending, this book does have a sudden ending without a satisfying (to me, anyway) resolution, which leads smartly into the next book in the series (thank you, Tyndale House, for including Chapter 1 of the next novel, Forsaking All Others).
Another aside: I recently discovered I live in the next town over from Allison Pittman, and I visited the writing group she co-leads a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately due to the aforementioned dance studio time, I won't be able to be an active member of the group. I hope to *really* meet her someday.
Special thanks to Rebeca Seitz of Glass Road Public Relations
for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,
and thanks also to Tyndale House Publishers
for a review copy of the novel.