Sunday, November 8, 2009

By Carroll: Review of Alma by H.B. Moore

People read scriptures in different way at different times. They read them to study and absorb the word of the Lord to his prophets. To find inspiration and answers to questions. To enjoy understand the timeline and historical context of familiar stories.

Heather Moore has obviously read and studied the scriptures for all of these reasons. She has also read them with the mind of a writer, wondering about the story behind the story and the unmentioned men and women who are part of it.

And asking the question all writers ask when a story idea niggles in the back of their minds: What if?

The result of her study, thought, and imagination is Alma, the second book in a new series based on the Book of Mormon. The novel begins as King Noah demands that Amulon track down Alma and other believers who have fled into the wilderness following the death of Abinidi. From then on, one fraught situation follows another in this fast-paced read.

Moore uses details of ancient Mesoamerican culture to create a believable world. She paints a three-dimensional picture of Alma as a man haunted by his past but uplifted by his faith, a man who also longs for love and a family of his own. And she populates her story with an interesting cast of women who have pivotal roles in the story.

As someone who always wonders about the women behind the men in scripture, I appreciated these strong, courageous women who risk their lives to join Alma and the community of faith. (I'm very eager to read Moore's non-fiction book, Women in the Book of Mormon, which will come out this spring or summer.)

Pick up Alma for an enjoyable read that will have you going back to the correlating verses in Mosiah with heightened interest. My only caveat would be to start with Abinidi first. Because I hadn't, I initially found it hard to keep the characters straight.Happily my confusion got cleared up as I continued to read.

To learn more about Heather, go to her blog: or her website:

1 comment:

Jim said...

I hadn't heard of these books, but now I'm intrigued. I'm going to see if they are available at the library. Thanks for the heads up.