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Book review: 'In God is Our Trust' blends faith and patriotism

By Sheryl C. S. Johnson

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Jan. 22 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

"FREE MEN AND DREAMERS, VOL. 5: In God is Our Trust," by L.C. Lewis, Walnut Springs Press, $19.99, 452 pages (f)

“In God is Our Trust,” the fifth and final volume in L.C. Lewis’ “Free Men and Dreamers” series, follows the Pearson family’s struggles and triumphs after the War of 1812. Lewis paints a tumultuous America where the Pearsons are surrounded by the consequences of a nation exploring freedom and bondage.

While providing an in-depth look at this segment of American history, Lewis ties up story lines from the five-book series while deftly addressing issues of slavery, immigration, westward migration and religious reformation.

“In God is Our Trust” explores sentiments of this era of history, bringing issues home with vivid, distinguishable characters. Lewis provides a powerful account of freedom and bondage, bringing about a greater appreciation for those who have gone before to build up this nation.

As the characters struggle through life, making mistakes and learning when they stumble, they become stronger because of their faith in God. Lewis briefly explores the beginnings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, blending faith and patriotism. She illustrates how Joseph Smith’s accounts of visions and angels test the Constitution’s guarantees of religious liberty and how they strain and strengthen tender family relationships.

Lewis’ excellent research and attention to detail is evident from architecture to landscape. Her plot weaves seamlessly with historical fact, peppering story lines with points of view likely held by our Founding Fathers and their detractors.

The crisp details in this historical novel breathe life into a pivotal time in American history. Through characters, trials and plot, the author navigates a story that connects God, family and country, leaving readers with a greater appreciation for the blessings of liberty.

Sheryl C.S. Johnson blogs at SherylCSJohnson.blogspot.com.

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