The Face of Heaven

The Face of Heaven

4.9 10
by Murray Pura
     
 

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Following on the heels of The Wings of Morning, the first book in Murray Pura’s Snapshots in History series, comes this compelling saga of the Civil War.

In April 1861, Lyndel Keim discovers two runaway slaves in her family’s barn. When the men are captured and returned to their plantation, Lyndel and her young Amish beau, Nathaniel King,

Overview

Following on the heels of The Wings of Morning, the first book in Murray Pura’s Snapshots in History series, comes this compelling saga of the Civil War.

In April 1861, Lyndel Keim discovers two runaway slaves in her family’s barn. When the men are captured and returned to their plantation, Lyndel and her young Amish beau, Nathaniel King, find themselves at odds with their pacifist Amish colony

Nathaniel enlists in what will become the famous Iron Brigade of the Union Army. Lyndel enters the fray as a Brigade nurse on the battlefield, sticking close to Nathaniel as they both witness the horrors of war—including the battles at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Antietam. Despite the pair’s heroic sacrifices, the Amish only see that Lyndel and Nathaniel have become part of the war effort, and both are banished.

And a severe battle wound at Gettysburg threatens Nathaniel’s life. Lyndel must call upon her faith in God to endure the savage conflict and to face its painful aftermath, not knowing if Nathaniel is alive or dead. Will the momentous battle change her life forever, just as it will change the course of the war and the history of her country?

The Face of Heaven is a dramatic story that will release on the 150th anniversary of the historic battle of Antietam, September, 1862.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For the second book in his Snapshots of History series, Pura (The Wings of Morning) sends a quintet of Amish young people into the midst of some of the most charged battles of the American Civil War. Invoking the biblical edict, “Thou shalt not kill,” their families and community shun them. None abandon the pacifist beliefs of their faith easily. Despite their passions for peace, the five set out for the front lines, believing slavery to be a sin so egregious it cannot be ignored. Heroine Lyndel Keim tends to the wounded under the tutelage of Clara Barton and then on her own in makeshift field hospitals. Her brother Levi, beau Nathaniel King, his brother Corinth, and Joshua Yoder serve with determination and character that is a testimony not only to their belief in God but their trust in Him as well. Pura’s action-packed attention to military detail pulls the reader directly into the mechanics and the atrocities of a war that divided the nation. Still, the war is merely a backdrop to the personal conflicts of these young Christians who feel compelled to follow their convictions despite the impending consequences. Agent: Les Stobbe. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Murray Pura's The Face of Heaven contained everything I love in a novel—American history, a heartfelt romance, and a tale of faith within the Amish community. Murray breathed life into his multi-dimensional characters and created a world that transports readers back in time."
Mary Ellis, author of An Amish Family Reunion

"My husband, who does not read fiction of any kind, enjoyed it immensely when I read aloud to him the chapters from The Face of Heaven describing in riveting detail, the battle at Gettysburg. A history buff himself, he relished the accuracy of the story.
"Pura combines his ability to write wartime historical fiction from a masculine perspective with an uncanny ability at dealing with issues of the heart to offer a fresh new voice to this popular genre. With surprises and twists that fiction readers love, it keeps us turning pages and wishing the book did not have to end. But end it does. And all I can say is, write us another, Mr. Pura!"
Connie Cavanaugh, author of Following God One Yes at a Time

"The Face of Heaven by Murray Pura made a believer out of me. I can now say that I love Amish fiction! I was certain I wouldn't and couldn't imagine why a man had opted to write it. But once I started turning the pages to this captivating book, I understood not only why he wrote it, but why I had to read it. The message is life-changing, the writing superb, and the characters believable. Don't miss this one!"
Kathi Macias, award-winning author, kathimacias.com

"This is the second book that my husband, Richard, and I have both enjoyed from this author. As expected, we enjoyed the flow, the research and the story of characters who fit real life. We especially enjoy finding a fictional book that both men and women can enjoy. Murray Pura has done it again—proven that Christian Historical Fiction doesn't have to be tentative or low voltage."
JudyAnn Lorenz, BarJD Communications

"The way in which Murray Pura weaves his characters into actual events of the American Civil War and the accuracy in which he describes these events and places, not only make them believable but makes you feel like you are really there. You can almost smell burnt black powder and hear the pop of rifle shots. Murray's characters ably reveal their internal struggles as they wrestle with their faith traditions. Whether you agree with their choices to join the conflict, or not, they never compromise who they are inside, but stay true to their convictions."
Russ and Melissa Friesen, Pincher Creek, Alberta

"Murray Pura's ability to draw you into the lifestyle and choices of the Amish faith is incredible—I felt engaged in the story from the first page. The struggles and choices made by the characters are very real and relevant for today as well. A great read for anyone!"
Libby Westergaard

"As always, Pura's authentic dialogue draws the reader into a fictional world so compellingly researched that the printed personalities come to life. Right from the start I found myself caring deeply for each main character, and anticipating the outcome of each brutal battle. Murray Pura once again does an admirable job highlighting the paradox between pacifism and the fight for freedom. Without hesitation I give this book a five-star rating."
—Elaine Phillips, adjunct college instructor, Alberta, Canada

Library Journal
In this story, set during the Civil War, Lyndel Keim and her Amish beau, Nathaniel King, enlist in the war effort after two slaves are discovered in Lyndel's family's barn and returned to their masters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780736949514
Publisher:
Harvest House Publishers
Publication date:
08/01/2012
Series:
Snapshots in History , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
556,997
File size:
931 KB

Meet the Author

Murray Pura earned his Master of Divinity degree from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and his ThM degree in theology and interdisciplinary studies from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more than 25 years, in addition to his writing, he has pastored churches in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Alberta. Murray’s writings have been shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award, the John Spencer Hill Literary Award, the Paraclete Fiction Award, and Toronto's Kobzar Literary Award. His novels for Harvest House include Face of Heaven, The Wings of Morning, and Ashton Park. Murray pastors and writes in southern Alberta near the Rocky Mountains. He and his wife, Linda, have a son and a daughter.

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The Face of Heaven 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
JudyAJL More than 1 year ago
In The Face of Heaven, Murray Pura launches a kaleidoscope of information centered on the years of the Civil War. The story is woven of Amish culture, battle anguish, wisdom of early wound care, women serving close to military, loyalty, love in all it's descriptions, cruelty in dark places. This is the second book that my husband, Richard, and I have both enjoyed from this author. As expected, we enjoyed the flow, the research and the story of characters who fit real life. We love giving a double review. We especially enjoy finding a fictional book that both men and women can enjoy. The book came in the mail and Richard got into it first! But before the reading was all done, we were keeping two bookmarks! Murray Pura has done it again -- Christian Historical Fiction doesn't have to be tentative or low voltage. I can't tell you a great deal more or the story might be spoiled. Just know that we highly recommend this book. Our copy was a gift from HarvestHouse Publications. We are not obligated to give a review, good or bad. It is our pleasure to share a recommendation for inspiring reading to you. In addition, the book is well edited so that readers don't get sidetracked on typos or misplaced characters. No Smut -- not too preachy. You can give this book to your YA readers, your grandmother and your dad.
wfnren More than 1 year ago
Amish keep their faith as they are banned for fighting for what they think is right Lyndel Keim finds two runaway slaves in their barn and promises to help them and keep them safe. She gains the help of her brother Levi and his friend Nathaniel King. Reluctantly her father lets them stay in the attic until they are healthy enough to move on. They soon have visitors among which is the owner of the slaves and have to turn them over. Lyndel, Levi and Nathaniel are all heartbroken but not as bad as they are when they find one of the slaves hung in a tree on their property. The Amish community agree to have a proper burial and bury him in their cemetery. Nathaniel, who has become Lyndel's beau, is so distraught that he decides to join the Union and fight against slavery. Lyndel finds that she can't sit at home and do nothing while Nathaniel is doing all he can so she leaves to go nurse the wounded. Nathaniel and Lyndel work closely in the field and soon they are joined by Levi and a few other young members of their community. They are all now under the bann and not allowed any communication with family. Murray does a fantastic job of pulling you into the story and telling what it must have been like on the front lines. Nathaniel and Lyndell were lucky to be able to see each other during the war and they showed such faith and dependence on God throughout. I shed some tears while reading the first book, The Wings of Morning, and I shed some more while reading this one. I expect to shed some more when the third book, Whispers of a New Dawn when I get it. I do not think I could have been as strong as Lyndell, or any of our ancestors, could you? I am so to be thankful to them and to our military who continue to fight for our rights. Thank you Murray for sharing these stories with us, they make us stop and think about how lucky we really are today. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ACS_Book_Blogger More than 1 year ago
Review: The Face of Heaven is a lovely historic fiction story that opens just before the Civil War in 1861. Lyndel Keim is an Amish girl growing up on her father’s farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. One morning Lyndel discovers two runaway slaves hiding in the barn. Ultimately the sheriff discovers their whereabouts, and the slaves are dealt with very harshly. The treatment of these slaves and the knowledge of thousands of others across the South causes Lyndel and her beau, Nathaniel King, to go against the wishes of their parents and Amish church leaders in joining the Civil War. Nathaniel enlists in the Iron Brigade serving in the Union army. Lyndel becomes a Brigade nurse working on or near the battlefields. Both see first hand the atrocities of the war, young men giving their lives for their beliefs and country. Throughout their efforts to serve the Union Army in such famous battles as Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Antietam, and finally at Gettysburg, they find themselves entirely dependent upon God’s strength and wisdom. Sometimes they work alongside of each other; other times they work far apart, hoping and praying that God would preserve them both. (reviewed by S.Fincannon) About the author: Murray Pura earned his Master of Divinity degree from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and his ThM degree in theology and interdisciplinary studies from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more than 25 years, in addition to his writing, he has pastored churches in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Alberta. Murray’s writings have been shortlisted for the Dartmouth Book Award, the John Spencer Hill Literary Award, the Paraclete Fiction Award, and Toronto's Kobzar Literary Award. His novels for Harvest House include Face of Heaven and The Wings of Morning. Murray pastors and writes in southern Alberta near the Rocky Mountains. DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of The Face of Heaven was provided by Harvest House Publishers on behalf of the author to facilitate our honest review. Positive remarks were not required.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
VicG More than 1 year ago
Murray Pura in his new book, “The Face of Heaven” Book Two in the Snapshots in History series published by Harvest House Publishers takes us into the lives of Nathanial King and Lyndel Keim over the course of The Civil War. From the Back Cover: Can An Amish man go to war and not lose his faith? Can an Amish Woman become a battlefield nurse and not lose her family? In April 1861, Lyndel Keim discovers two runaway slaves in her family’s barn. When the men are captured, Lyndel and her young Amish beau, Nathaniel King, find themselves at odds with their pacifist Amish colony As word reaches the Amish settlement that the nation is now involved in a civil war, Nathaniel enlists in what will become the famous Iron Brigade of the Union Army. Lyndel enters the fray as a Brigade nurse, sticking close to Nathaniel as they both witness the horrors of war. Despite the pair’s heroic sacrifices, the Amish only see that Lyndel and Nathaniel have become part of the war effort, and both are shunned. When Nathaniel is caught up in the severe battle at Antietam in the fall of 1862, Lyndel must call upon her faith in God to face its painful aftermath, not knowing if Nathaniel is alive or dead. Will the momentous battle change her life forever, just as it will change the course of the war and the history of her country? This stirring Civil War novel, culminating with a heroic stand at Gettysburg in the summer of 1863, pits the injustice of slavery against the pacifism of the Amish and the love of the two courageous young plain folk. I love history and “The Face of Heaven” is loaded with it without it becoming a school history textbook. Mr. Pura looks at The Civil War from the point of view of the Amish. I have now learned that the Amish are pacifists and are opposed to war so when both Nathaniel and Lyndel join the Union Army their community shuns them, or shuts them out, because they feel the couple has given up their Amish beliefs. However, both feel strongly that slavery must be dealt with and their country is worth fighting, and dying, for. ”The Face of Heaven” is an adventure story filled with detailed battle scenes that will make you feel that you are there witnessing the event. It is also a thriller as both Nathaniel and Lyndel’s lives are in danger during the course of the war. ”The Face of Heaven” is also a romance that is all about relationships and that is what makes this book a winner. I enjoyed this book a lot and am looking forward to more by Mr. Pura. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Harvest House Publishers for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
The blending of two beautiful genres speaks volumes to a book lover's heart and soul! I love it when an author will find a way to put a unique and unexpected twist into something we would never have considered and as a reader seeing it with new eyes! That is just what author, Murray Pura has done in his recent novel, The Face of Heaven. He has delightfully taken two of my personal favorite genre's and blended them so wonderfully together that is makes a readers heart sing! In The Face of Heaven, we meet the Keim's, your typical Amish family living and working hard on their farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1861. As Lyndel Keim, is finishing her chores in the barn she stumbles across two slaves running from the law, Charlie Preston and Moses Gunnison. Charlie is badly wounded and this is his third attempt at trying to make it North to find freedom at last while the Civil War is just beginning. Lyndel knows if she confronts her father, the Bishop, he will not lie but turn the men over to the sheriff if he comes looking for the men. So instead she finds her brother, Levi and his best friend Nathaniel King and enlists their aid. Just as they are preparing to take care of Charlie's wounds, Lyndel's father comes in and is considerably upset that neither of his children felt they could trust him to do the right thing and care for the men. He has them moved upstairs and immediately cared for. As night falls, the Bishop gathers the elders at his home to discuss how to care for the men who have come to his home and it's obvious that some feel these men being slaves should be returned to their masters on the Virginia plantation and so the men are divided on the best course for what they should do. Just as they are about to adjourn, there is a pounding on the door, and when Bishop Keim opens the door, the sheriff is there hearing that the runaways slaves are being cared for there. When Bishop Keim confirms that, the slave owners rush into the house looking for the men, Nathaniel blocks the staircase and tries to prevent them from being taken while they are still healing, but the men push past him and search the house looking for the men. When they take them bound and place them in the wagon, Nathaniel and Lyndel know that this is not God's will, and so the war within begins. The Face of Heaven blends two wonderful genres of Amish Fiction along with Historical Fiction with a blend of suspense, action adventure and of course just the right touch of romance. Nathaniel is not going to stand idly by and watch the country he loves being turned over to the likes of the slave owners without a fight, even if it means being shunned by his church and community. The story really entices the reader is so many ways in such a perfect blending of lyrical words to describe the setting and the characters in the story that you feel everything as though you are actually there. He has truly found something amazing and it's not the only time Murray Pura has blended genres so well together. His first book, The Wings of Morning is another I will definitely be checking out and is on my MUST READ list. For those of you looking for something different, this is it and why I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I received The Face of Heaven by Murray Pura compliments of Harvest House Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It really drew you in--to both the time of the Civil War and the world of the Amish--without getting too bogged down into gory battle details or too preachy. It was really the best of both worlds. I felt completely invested in Lyndel and Nathaniel's lives, and was very sorry when it came to an end. The conflict between their love for their community and way of life and their commitment to bringing slavery to an end was so well written that I wanted to jump into the world of the book and sign up to help! I can't even tell you how many passages in this book I bookmarked in order to use in the classroom--if not to read out loud to classes to give them a "flavor" of the period, then at least to re-read personally in order remind myself of the story behind the history--but it's a lot. I will definitely be looking for more books by this author, because he truly has a gift for bringing history to life for readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Review of The Face of Heaven: An Amish love story that starts in Lancaster County in 1841 during the Civil War. Lyndel Keim and her beau Nathaniel King have their whole life ahead of them. Lyndel walks into her families barn one day and discovers two runaway slaves hiding in the barn. Lyndel makes a promise to the runaway slaves that she will help them- she enlists both her brother Levi's help and Nathaniel's help to take care of the two slaves. When the slaves are re-captured Lyndel and Nathaniel decide they must find a way to help the soldiers and slaves during the war. Amish are pacifist- how will these Amish boys and Lyndel help in a very bloody war??? A very moving story of how Amish may find sometimes another person's life- freedom- is very well worth fighting for!!! Four Amish boy's in total end up enlisting- the war affects each one in a different way- but also brings them closer together!!! This has been a very accurate and very moving Civil War story- once I started reading I couldnt put the book down!!! Murray Pura's books have always been a must read- but this particular one was really striking to me- a definite 5 star read!!!!
MarB1 More than 1 year ago
During the Civil War The main characters Lyndel Keim and Nathaniel King are Amish. After they witnessed the brutal treatment of runaway slaves, their lives are changed forever. They are just starting to fall in love when Nathaniel joins the Army. Some time later Lyndel follows him as an Army nurse. After about a year they finally see each other again. Now that both have become a part of the war effort, they are banished from their Amish community. Despite of the war their love grows. And despite of they're being banished they still live up to their faith. Nathaniel fights in several well known battles. It's nice to read about the camaraderie among Nathaniel's platoon. I almost felt a part of them and could imagine the bullets whistling around my head. Lyndel cares for the many wounded soldiers. It's not always pleasant to read about the battle injuries, but it was reality. When loved ones get seriously injured, is Lyndel able to nurse them back to health? This book truly is a page turner and a masterpiece! Awesome job, Murray! *Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy. I was not required to write a positive review.*