Murray Pura was born and raised in Manitoba, just north of Minnesota and the Dakotas. He has published several novels and short story collections in Canada, and has been short-listed for a number of awards. His first books to be published in the United States are the inspirational works Rooted and Streams (both by Zondervan in 2010). His first novel to debut in the USA is A Bride’s Flight from Virginia City, Montana (Barbour), which was released January 2012. The second, The Wings of Morning, will be published by Harvest House on February 1. Both of these novels center around the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Learn more about Murray and his books on his Website.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In April 1861, Lyndel Keim discovers two runaway slaves in her family’s barn. When the men are captured and returned to their plantation, Lyndel and her young Amish beau, Nathaniel King, find themselves at odds with their pacifist Amish colony
Nathaniel enlists in what will become the famous Iron Brigade of the Union Army. Lyndel enters the fray as a Brigade nurse on the battlefield, sticking close to Nathaniel as they both witness the horrors of war–including the battles at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Antietam. Despite the pair’s heroic sacrifices, the Amish only see that Lyndel and Nathaniel have become part of the war effort, and both are banished.
And a severe battle wound at Gettysburg threatens Nathaniel’s life. Lyndel must call upon her faith in God to endure the savage conflict and to face its painful aftermath, not knowing if Nathaniel is alive or dead. Will the momentous battle change her life forever, just as it will change the course of the war and the history of her country?
To be totally truthful, I am still reading The Face of Heaven. There are frequent moments when I want to put it down and not pick it back up because I would really rather bury my head and not face the grim and painful realities of the war that tore our nation apart. However, the author has made me care about his characters and I must continue reading to find out how their story ends.
I have read many Amish novels but The Face of Heaven is so totally different than any I have run across. The primary characters are a young Amish man and woman who have just decided to court when a shared experience compels them to defy the Amish pacifist stance and do whatever they can so that all Americans can be free. They both find themselves totally unprepared for the horrors of war and the toll it will take on them but their faith and convictions give them the strength to persevere.
A fictional account that was obviously well researched for historical accuracy, The Face of Heaven is a fascinating story that goes far beyond the facts into the very human experiences and emotions of Nathaniel and Lyndel. I believe that most history buffs will find this novel to be worth their while.