am 15. März 2007
"Saints" is a novelization of the life of one of the wives of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). The book follows Dinah from her childhood of poverty and misery in England through her involvement in the early Mormon movement in the United States. Card manages to make it seem plausible that a smart, tough, self-reliant woman like Dinah could accept Mormon "plural marriage." The one part of her life that I didn't fully understand was Dinah's conversion to Mormonism in the first place, which is, of course, crucial to the story.
I was fascinated by Card's characterization of Joseph Smith. You can't quite decide whether he's a raving egomaniac on a power trip or whether he truly believes he's heard the voice of God and is determined to be faithful no matter how difficult it may be or how crazy God's commands may seem. Or maybe it's some of each. It seems to me that a lot of strong religious leaders are like this, and maybe there's no sure way to tell what's really motivating them. Card also leaves open the interpretation of Dinah's treatment of her children: Is it a painful but necessary consequence of acting faithfully, or an inexcusable abdication of responsibility, or some of each?
"Saints" is an engaging story and a powerful study of the faithful life. Also recommended: "Stone Tables," Card's novelization of the life of Moses.
am 4. Oktober 1998
I normally read Card for his science fiction and fantasy, so I expected to be rather uninterested in Saints. Also, I am not religious at all, and books which focus on religion tend not to interest me. However, even though it took me a while to get into it, I completely loved this book. I was willing to completely accept and believe in the religious views of all of the characters, and become completely absorbed in the story. Orson Scott Card does in Saints what he does in all of his science fiction and fantasy-- he tells a story you believe, about characters you truly feel for, who become, in some way, a part of your life. If you are a fan of Card, this book is worth reading, even if you normally only read science fiction or fantasy.
am 5. September 1999
I am relatively new to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints[Mormons]. I knew some of the "Principle of Plural Marriage." This book helped to put the human aspect to it,to make it real.I felt almost every emotion possible as I read it. When I finished I was drained,relieved and yet disappointed it had ended.If anything this story has only strengthened my testimony of the truths of the Mormon Faith and that Josph Smith was a true Prophet of God.