Utah in the dead of winter is so bleak, so inhospitable and very dangerous for travellers. Deborah lives in Junction a settlement of just eight families. They part of the Mormon community have moved here to set up a new life for themselves. The purpose seems to be not to be a rigid community having the bishop overlooking every aspect of their life but to be members of the community with views and a mind of their own.
At the same time, Junction is a point where Saints come through who are being pursued by the law mainly for the transgression of polygamy. With multiple wives, which in the law's view was an aberration, they are actively pursued these polygamists, their property seized and confiscated, the men thrown into prison and forgotten and they seem to be on the run to a safer area. Junction is a through point for them and Deborah and her husband Samuel unwillingly along with Nels help these men on their way.
When a man turns up in bleakest January, ready with all the signals that signify that he is a fugitive and safe for Deborah to help, she still however feels that something is not quite right. Passing him on to Nels to take him through the rest of the journey she returns home to find a Marshall skeptical of her answers and determined to follow the man. What follows is a disaster for not just Deborah and Nels but also for the whole community who now have to rethink their own future and the safety of their families. With Samuel missing for over four months now, feared dead Deborah herself must think of what she is going to do.
Very interesting reading because it also showed that all church goers were not blindly following their leader but also had views of their own. Polygamy is a thorny subject - even here where a Muslim is legally allowed more than one wife - but peeking into a Mormon household gave one an idea that the principle of polygamy was distasteful to many. It promised a celestial paradise for those that followed it, but that was very convenient (in my opinion!).
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing.