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The Silence of God by Gale Sears

The Silence of God is a novel centered on the lives of one LDS family who lives in Russia. The family is historically accurate with the father, Johan, mother Alma, and eight children. The Lindlof family is the first LDS family in Russia.
The Prologue, set in 988AD, tells the story of Prince Vladimir who marries a German Christian princess, is converted to Christianity, is baptized, and replaces the Paganism of the nation with Christianity. This sets the stage for the story which begin with LDS Apostle Elder Francis Lyman dedicating Russia to the preaching of the Gospel with the Lindlof family witnessing the 1903 event. Two years later we see one of the sons who is being persuaded to march with workers as they seek to present a petition to the Tsar. The next several chapters bring in a neighbor girl Natasha who grew up with Agnes Lindlof.  These two characters form the main characters of the story. Natasha, an only child, is raised by a religious mother and an atheist father who is a fervent Bolshevik. Natasha becomes part of the workers who are producing propaganda for the Bolsheviks witnessing the night of the takeover in Petrograd. Agnes is not into the political movement and begins to rebel against the constant talk of politics, yet their friendship is still maintained.
This story is engaging and the footnotes offer clarification on which circumstances are fiction and which are historically accurate. It is disappointing to find at the end that the story deviates quite dramatically from the reality. In reality only one of the Lindloff's six children who were sent to a prison camp in Siberia survived. Two daughters died there and the fate of the others is unknown. This story shows some of the brutality and religious hatred that occurred showing it in a personal context rather than a national context, although Ms Sears does not skip over significant historical events. The descriptions of the locations of significant sites such as the Winter Palace, several gardens, and cathedrals are well described. This book will leave you wanting more.
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