Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

On September 11, 1857, one of the darkest moments in the history of the LDS church occurred. 35 miles southwest of Cedar City, Utah, approximately 120 emigrants innocently passing through on their way to California were brutally slaughtered by a band of local Mormons. Only 17 witnesses to the slayings remained alive, all of them young children. This tragic event, known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, is the backdrop of Diane Noble’s The Veil.

The Veil chronicles the lives of Hannah McClary, a young woman unwittingly swept up in the religious sect known as The Saints, and the Farrington family, one of the many emigrant families heading out west. Hannah’s and the Farrington’s fates become intertwined as they develop a deep bond despite their religious differences.

At the heart of the novel is the beautiful and engaging love story between Hannah McClary and Lucas Knight. Haunted by the memory of the murders of his parents and younger brother, Lucas takes on the role of an Avenging Angel for The Saints. As he is drawn deeper into The Saints, he learns he must go against his own morals in the name of the Church. Both Lucas and Hannah begin to question their loyalty to The Saints, jeopardizing their very lives.

Noble is honest and raw in her description of the beliefs of The Saints (now known as The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints), but does not judge or condemn them for their practices. Instead, Noble proffers the idea of a different God, one who sacrifices Himself for his children rather than requiring his children to sacrifice themselves for Him.

Though centered around tragic circumstances, The Veil is surprisingly uplifting. Readers who may not have been acquainted with God before reading this novel may be encouraged to learn more about Him.

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.