"SHADOWS OF BRIERLEY Volume 1: The Wanderer," by Anita Stansfield, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 242 pages (f)

Award-winning LDS author Anita Stansfield has plunged into a new adventure with “The Wanderer,” the first book in her Shadows of Brierley series.

After two years of reckless wandering, Ian is inspired by a street preacher selling an unusual book, the Book of Mormon, to head home to his beloved Brierley. Having left home to escape a tragedy he feels was his fault, Ian realizes that no amount of wandering can take him from the guilt he carries in his own heart.

His return is met by exuberance from his family as well as the local tailor's daughter, Wren, who had locked away her feelings for him. However, not everything is peaceful on the home front. As Ian and Wren pursue a life together, they are thrown into the heat of longing and despair.

Debilitating physical problems, mental illness and immoral actions — each takes its toll on the life Ian and Wren are trying to create. But in the background, the extraordinary book that Ian purchased as he headed for home seems to be leading the couple to a yearning for something more. Their journey together is just beginning.

The book is a little slow to start. It takes a while before much seems to happen, but once the action begins to blossom the book grows into a mottled bouquet of beauty and tragedy.

The sudden re-entrance of the Book of Mormon near the end of the tale does feel a bit disjointed, but it is obvious that it will continue to play an important role as the series progresses.

Stansfield’s stories have been enjoyed by readers for years. Lovers of her tales will be drawn to her kind and charmingly ordinary characters. The individuals she has created face intense trials. Yet they remain true to their nature and brave their troubles heroically.

This book is sure to leave readers anxious for the rest of the series.

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. Her email is mddemoux@gmail.com. Follow her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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