I read a review of ABINADI that moved me enough that I wanted to post a portion of it here.
By Emily M. at Hearing Voices:
"One of the things I most enjoyed about H.B. Moore’s Whitney-winning historical novel Abinadi is that (and I will be blunt here) Alma the [Elder] has nonmarital s-x (gotta foil the search engines and bowdlerize my post. So much for bluntness.).
This is not because I am a big fan of gratuitous s-x. On the contrary. I skip over graphic scenes, and I have been known to quit reading books altogether, even books I was really enjoying, because of content issues.
But Moore’s descriptions were not graphic; they were, however, scripturally based — King Noah’s court had wine-bibbers and an abundance of loose women. The scriptures are pretty clear on that point. And yet, it would have been tempting to gloss over that while writing the book. Just make Alma a little drunk, you know. Don’t make him really consort with women.
Kudos to Moore for taking the larger view of the situation: Alma the Elder needed to experience sin, and the sin that the scriptures alluded to, so that his healing could have more power."
Emily is right on the mark. In reading the text found in the Book of Mosiah that concerned Alma the Elder and his life as a high priest, I knew that he wasn't an observer. I knew that for a man to taste the true bitterness of repentance he would have to descend to the darkest depths. I've had a few readers who have said, "I wouldn't want so-and-so to read this." I've had reviews that have said, "Warning--not for children." I've had reviewers say, "I was surprised at the evilness of King Noah and his court." I agree. I also believe that some of their evil doings were too abominable to mention--even in the Book of Mormon text.
I'm currently working on a piece for my non-fiction book on Women of the Book of Mormon. As I'm researching information about Isabel, the harlot that led Corianton away (Alma 39), I've found many interesting links between harlotry and idolatry.
Thank you Emily, for your post!
In other news, I spoke with my agent yesterday. My international thriller, QUEEN, is being shopped to publishers. But the process is slow. Each publisher is given a chance to read the manuscript and accept or reject it. It might be months yet before there is good news!