LAND OF INHERITANCE
Vol. 4 in 4 volume collection, OUT OF JERUSALEM
By Author: H.B. Moore
First Published: 2007
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
(*available in paperback 2015)
REVIEW posted 7/30/2015 on Amazon.com, Goodreads, and Reviewer's Website.
5 out of 5 stars for Vol. 4
5 out of 5 stars for the collection of Vol.1-4, though it is deserving of much more.
“AN EPIC STORY WITH UNIVERSAL TIMELESS APPEAL”
This is the final volume in H.B. Moore’s OUT OF JERUSALEM saga. Having personally purchased and read all four of the volumes, I offer my review as totally unbiased. This final volume primarily follows the blended families of Lehi and Ishmael and their posterity once they have concluded their long sea voyage and reached what they feel is their land of promise. Volume four begins in the land of promise and recounts their experiences as they discover and geographically explore their new home land, and establish an ecosystem and social system among their growing family. The often illustrated friction among the male characters illustrated throughout the first three volumes continues in volume 4 cohesively portraying the reality of this family’s struggle to survive together, yet eventual fracture in order to flourish. Discord and struggle for leadership in the family, primarily among the four oldest sons of Lehi, is escalated upon Lehi’s death. At that point, a divide is formed and it propels the story through the end of volume 4. The two main factions being, one follows the leadership and inspiration of God and the scriptures, and the other most certainly does not and would rather lead by their own desires for personal gain through physical dominance and intimidation. An interesting element is the inclusion of the preexisting inhabitants that are encountered in the land of promise, as well as their variation of language, values, culture, and intelligence. The additional individual characterization of the female members of Lehi’s and Ishmael’s families adds a wonderful dimension to the strong dynamic of interpersonal relationships and provides much interest to the reading. I found myself feeling very satisfied in seeing how each of the individual characters, both male and female, both young and old, vividly embrace their own role in their new life in the land of promise, and how their personal choices ultimately determine their fate.
H.B. Moore is a masterful story teller and it is obvious that she has tremendous command of the English language. To complement this asset is the obvious detail with which she can paint a picture that leaves the reader feeling as though they are experiencing the story in a minimum of 4-D. Her attention to historical fact, scripture accuracy, and the plausibility of other related scenarios makes for a smooth ground for the storytelling of her well-presented saga. Significant effort is poured into each character leaving the reader with an abundance of richly constructed characters; the differences in personality and traits are stark, and the similarities are comforting. The element of personal voice is strongly portrayed by the characters and it facilitates catalyst in moving the story forward.
The human experiences in this epic story are generously portrayed through conflict, strife, courage, betrayal, combat, capture, deceit, disobedience, arrogance, humility, devotion, sacrifice, obedience, joy, pride, dominance, persecution, injury, culture, superstition, sorrow, death, birth, grudge, forgiveness, promise, and hope. With such a vast epic story, it takes a very skillful writer to create an original work of fiction by using a historically documented account as the basis for the creative literary work. H.B. Moore most certainly stands out among any colleagues in her field of historical fiction when her ground for fictionalizing is the scriptures, primarily, The Book of Mormon. The magnitude of her research is vast and it is thoroughly documented in the chapter notes at the back of each of the four volumes. Though the author takes artistic license incorporating details into the story, the depth of character development, and ancillary side stories of daily life, there is vivid adherence to the main thrust of what is factually known from The Book of Mormon text and other reputably supported texts from scholars of ancient records.
It is also evident that H.B. Moore has a personal connection to the story of this family’s journey, as her passion for the story is undeniably consistent throughout the literary work of all four volumes. As a reader, I am impressed; when many seasoned writers would only dare present the facts as a geographic or historical travel log, H.B. Moore’s manuscript is a humanistic experience, a spiritual experience, and an illuminating experience for the reader. Many readers of The Book of Mormon have often expressed the desire of wanting to know more about the lives of the people who authored the writing of the ancient text. H.B. Moore’s efforts bring a glimpse into what certainly is a panoramic revelation yet to come.
All of the four volumes are well written, well researched, and well presented. Having read all volumes, I found all to be enjoyable reads and I felt a sense of awe, reverence, and respect for what these people may have endured in their real lives. The fictionalized approach was richly complemented with factual information and the blend was seamless. Though this four volume work of historical fiction would have significant appeal to those individuals who accept The Book of Mormon as scripture, H.B. Moore’s work carries interest beyond those boundaries to include readers of all faiths who enjoy faith-based historical fiction, and other readers who enjoy historical fiction of Mesoamerica.
IN CONCLUSION, I would highly recommend volume 4, LAND OF INHERITANCE, as well as all four volumes of the OUT OF JERUSALEM collection. Though it is currently (2015) rare to find new hardback editions, all four volumes are available in paperback. This collection does not disappoint. On the contrary, it is an exhilarating read and it has left this reader/reviewer with a feeling of gratitude for the opportunity to have taken such a magnificent epic journey.
BY: Alice M. Batzel
Published Playwright, Journalist, Freelance Writer