A Pioneer Woman\’s Passage in the American West
by Sally Denton
This is the story of the author\’s ancestor, Jane Rio Griffiths, a woman of English aristocracy who emigrated to the United States in the 1800\’s, joined the Mormons, and traveled across the country to Utah. Faith and Betrayal is an awe-inspiring story of one woman\’s courage, stamina and ability to acquire whatever new skills were necessary in her new life (including those of a midwife). Denton does a wonderful job of depicting her great-great grandmother\’s experiences of crossing the ocean in a ship and traveling in a wagon train, overcoming numerous hardships. Unfortunately, soon after arrival in Utah, the diary upon which this book is largely based falls silent for seventeen years. After that space of time, she left the church and moved to California. Denton filled in the gap with plenty of reasons why Jane may have become disillusioned with her new religion. You must read this book with a grain of salt, as it is heavily opinionated- by the author. A lot of emphasis is placed upon the incident of a piano which Denton says her great-grandmother brought across the ocean and plains, only to have it end up in Brigham Young\’s possession- either as an object of tithe or traded in exchange for grain during a time of hardship. She stated that the piano is \”now on display at the Mormon Temple Museum in Salt Lake City\” and included a photograph of it. Curious, I looked online for the museum, wanting to know more about the piano. But I could not find any more information.
Rating: 3/5 …….. 216 pages, 2005