This book takes place during a fascinating time in American history. With the end of the War of 1812, a young country began having debates that would shape the future well into the next two centuries. Slavery and women's rights were two of those issues, as well as the changes--for good and bad--brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Lewis skillfully and credibly weaves her tail against this background.
The book works well as a story--stocked with believable characters who are fighting difficult battles. But it is also a powerful meditation on freedom and bondage, and the many ways in which we can lose freedom and become enslaved. Through the eyes of the characters, the reader comes to appreciate the blessings of liberty and more fully grasp the responsibilities that come to those who are free. Elegantly connecting the dots between our three great responsibilities, God, Family, and Country, Lewis leaves the reader with a visceral appreciation of those who have gone on before and a commitment to stand more firmly in the moment that is now ours.
LDS readers will be particularly intrigued by the way the story of a young man in Palmyra, New York fits into the larger contours of American history. Believing Mormons will see the hand of Providence in the founding and preserving of a nation. Those of other faiths will see a story about people who believe in God and freedom--there is nothing that makes the book accessible only to Mormons. Anyone who is interested in American history and religion might find this book to be interesting. At it's heart is a very compelling story told by a master storyteller.
You can read more about Lewis, this book, or others in the series here.
Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.