Abish: Daughter Of God by K.C. Grant
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Abish is one of those women in LDS scripture that appears for a moment during a dramatic event, and we never know much of who she was before, or what happens to her afterward. We know she was a woman of faith, but we don't know how developed that faith was. We don't know how old she was at the time of the event we see her in the Book of Mormon. I always imagined her as an older servant.
Grant creates a fictional life for Abish starting as a very young teen. Abish starts out as a companion to the princess, then gets sent home when the princess is betrothed. The Queen seems to have more affection for Abish than her own daughter. When Abish gets home she finds her own mother Saranhi, isn't excited to have her back. Sherem, her father, does show Abish love and affection but he is often away working as a healer.
Abish falls in love with a crippled blacksmith named Jared, against the wishes of her mother, and ends up betrothed to a cruel army captain. Sherem doesn't like him much, but Sherem is also in trouble with his superiors and is later murdered and so the betrothal goes further. Abish can't bring herself to marry the soldier, runs away with the blacksmith, and they get separated while trying to escape on a boat during an ocean storm.
Somehow Abish and Jared both end up in Nephite territory, although they each believe the other to be dead. Abish goes through a spiritual conversion and somehow meets up with Ammon before he goes on his mission to the Lamanites, those Abish once called her people.
LDS readers will know how the book ends - with the miraculous account of Ammon converting the King and Queen to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, readers are left to assume that Abish lives "happily ever after" because after the conversion event, the story ends. It's a decent story and all but it left me wanting the other shoe to drop.
The romantic parts of this book are clean, just a kiss or two in the whole book and nothing steamy. There are references to adult situations, but nothing is blunt or crass, only hinted at. I think parents could feel fairly safe letting teens read this. Discussion of the actual scriptural account would be helpful to put the book in context and to decipher what is true and what isn't.
View all my reviews