by Gale Sears
I love Christmas, I always get new books, Yay!!!
Belonging to Heaven is historical fiction, based on the life of one of the first Mormon missionaries to preach in the Hawaiian islands, George Q. Cannon, and the man who became one of the first native leaders of the church there, as well as Elder Cannon's lifelong friend, Jonathan Napela.
The story is rich in historical detail and faith promoting experiences, but at its heart, it is really a love story between Jonathan and his wife Kitty. Their life together is full of blessings and trials, but the real test comes about two-thirds of the way into the book, when Kitty is stricken with leprosy - "the disease that deprives one of family and friends". Government regulations require that Kitty be relocated to a leper colony on the island of Moloka'i, and Jonathan must decide whether or not to accompany her, when staying with Kitty means leaving his precious daughter and grandchild, his work as a church leader in the Mormon settlement at Laie, and running the great risk of catching the dread disease himself.
This book is so well-researched, you will quickly find yourself drawn into the lives of these families, marveling that these astounding events ever really happened.