I love a good story. My collection of LDS fiction fills an entire oak bookcase. Three more house young adult and adult fiction. The fifth is dedicated to children’s picture books. I’m a closet librarian; a proud bookworm. At the sight of all these books, my ten-year-old nephew called me a nerd. I smiled and thanked him for the compliment!
So, for all who love to curl up with a good page turner, I thought it would be fun to share my Top Ten List of the Best LDS Fiction I’ve come across, so far.
- First Love and Forever,” Anita Stansfield, Covenant Communications, softcover, 1994, 235 pages. I call her the “Jane Austin” of LDS Romance. From 1994 to 2000 nobody could touch Anita Stansfield for clean romance. While her latest writings haven’t been as up-to-par in storytelling and characterization, I highly recommend her early work which all began with this book-Emily is stuck in an unhappy marriage until her old nonmember boyfriend from BYU comes back into her life to turn everything upside down!
Please check out my book blog where I’m currently summarizing all of her work: http://anitastansfieldfan.blogspot.com/2015/08/introduction-and-complete-book-list.html
2. “Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites,” Chris Heimerdinger, Covenant Communications, softcover, 1989, 229 pages. Has it really been that long since the first book in this exciting time-traveling series captured our imaginations? Two boys and a pesky little sister discover a cave taking them on the trip of their lives. Over the years Heimerdinger’s series has expanded to include Old and New Testament adventures with a large cast of characters. Please don’t keep us waiting too long for the next installment, Chris!
3. “Counting Stars,” Michele Paige Holmes, Covenant Communications, softcover, 2007, 388 pages. A lonely LDS single adult in the Seattle, Washington area takes an unusual path in creating for herself an eternal family, starting with an orphaned set of infant twins. This sweet, old-fashioned yet modern day romance is now my favorite re-read.
4. The Work and the Glory, Vol 6, “Praise to the Man,” Gerald N. Lund, Bookcraft, hardcover, 1995, 732 pages. Not many authors out there could create such a phenomenal series and this particular volume was Gerald Lund's magnum opus to Joseph Smith. The fictional Steed family, their life changing journey in joining the church became so real to us; these great figures from church history became our closest friends too. Testimonies were strengthened and Gerald Lund took his place as a respected and groundbreaking author in LDS literature. (I’m enjoying his latest Fire and Steel series)
I created a book blog dedicated to Lund’s work as well, please check it out: http://workandthegloryfan.blogspot.com/2014/06/intoduction-to-this-blog-welcome.html
5. Children of the Promise, Vol 1, “Rumors of War,” Dean Hughes, Deseret Book, hardcover, 1997, 500 pages. Another “must-read” historical fiction series. The children of the Thomas family are caught in the outbreak of the most famous war in history. Alex is currently serving a mission in Germany. His sister will leave her studies at the University of Utah to volunteer as a nurse in the south pacific while mischievous and wild Wally doesn’t care where the war takes him, as long as it’s exciting! Will they all make it home safely? After reading this initial volume, you won’t be able to stop.
6. Out of Jerusalem, Vol 1, “Of Goodly Parents,” H. B. Moore, Covenant Communications, hardcover, 2004, 279 pages. Currently my favorite LDS author, (I can hardly put down her latest series, The Moses Chronicles) Heather B. Moore did her research and gave us a wonderful account of what Lehi and Nephi’s journey to the promised land might have been like. You’ll never read first and second Nephi the same way again!
7. “Beauty and the Clockwork Beast,” Nancy Campbell Allen, Shadow Mountain, softcover, 2016, 313 pages. Part of Shadow Mountain’s “Proper Romance” line, N.C. Allen took a break from historical fiction (Faith of our Fathers) to pen the first LDS steampunk where Victorian Era meets science fiction in an unusual world that runs on steam powered machines and electrical devices, including ray guns. Add a few werewolves and vampires and get ready for some high strung adventure. Since this is a fantasy, none of the characters are LDS. As a conservative reader, I tend to avoid these racy genres, until I read this one. Congrats to this author for making a “proper” romance feel so…sexy!
8. “The Orphan Keeper,” Cameron Wright, Shadow Mountain, hardcover, 2016, 432 pages. Nominated for a 2016 Whitney award recognizing novels by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Cameron Wright’s second novel (I also recommend “The Rent Collector”) about a boy kidnapped in India in the 1970’s and brought to the United States is hard to put down.
9. “Sarah,” Orson Scott Card, Shadow Mountain, hardcover, 2000, 390 pages. Better known for his science fiction books, if Mr. Card ever decides to ditch that genre he could still make a pretty decent living writing historical fiction. This is the first book in a series focusing on the wives of the Patriarchs-tough, smart and unique in their own ways.
10. “Austenland,” Shannon Hale, Bloomsbury, softcover, 2007, 208 pages. After reading the book, I had the very great pleasure of seeing the film at Sundance. Jane lives in New York, obsessed with all things Jane Austin, dreaming of finding her very own Mr. Darcy. When the opportunity comes to visit a resort and live the Regency lifestyle, Jane makes the trip where Mr. Darcy turns out to be very different than what she expected. Light, fun, but mostly eye-rolling story, I recommend reading the book first, then seeing the movie. None of the characters are of any religion but both the book and movie are clean and family friendly.
So what LDS fiction titles would make your list?