"The Silence of God," by Gale Sears, Deseret Book, $24.99, 376 pages
Johan and Alma Lindlof and their eight children were the first members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russia. Their story of faith during the Bolshevik Revolution is brought to life in the historical novel "The Silence of God."
Granted, several of the characters surrounding the family are fictional as Gale Sears gives readers a front-row seat to the uproar of revolution (think of LDS Church history and "The Work and the Glory" series). One of those fictional characters is a neighbor and friend to the Lindlof family who has a hard time understanding the family's faith in God.
Readers learn of the miracles surrounding Johan and Alma's baptism, the dedicatory prayers in Russia, life at the Lindlof home and the struggles the family experienced during the revolution, when many churches were converted to offices. The Lindlofs are considered suspicious because of Johan's occupation as a merchant and because the family doesn't publicly align itself with the Russian Orthodox Church or any of the political factions.
Sears provides explanatory notes at the end of each chapter that help clarify fact from fiction and give background on many of the political groups and other historical figures. The notes also include a few historical tidbits that have present-day relevance. For example, according to the notes in the first chapter, when Christianity was first introduced nearly a millennia before the revolution by Prince Vladimir, the Church of the Tithes was established in Kiev on a mount that was sacred to a pagan god. In the last note of the last chapter, Sears points out that the LDS temple site in the Ukraine is only 6 miles from where the Church of the Tithes was established.