I am usually of two minds when I read historical books. If it’s straight
history, I wish there was a story showing the difficulties that a family might
have had to endure. In other words, I want a story!
On the other hand, if it is a historical novel involving people and their stories, a part of me is always wondering which part of the story actually happened and which is made up. With this conflict in my mind, I’m seldom satisfied.
Susan Mitchell’s book "Forever Stalwart" is the best of both worlds, following the lives of people I quickly came to care about. This is a story that captivated me. In addition, after every few pages there are historical documents, diaries, journals, and other references which make it clear how closely the actual events have been captured.
This is an amazing book! For me it was like being there as members of the Church migrated from Ohio to Utah, and then what their life was like in Utah. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and enthusiastically recommend it!
Lovingly and skillfully written by a great-granddaughter, the story of Titus Billings, Mormon pioneer, is at once intensely interesting, deeply insightful and powerfully inspirational. Impeccable research--the work of decades--has enabled Susan Billings Mitchell to bring to light the account of a remarkable man of unfaltering faith and unyielding works in an authentic setting of 19th Century Mormonism. The strength of the man and the tenets of the gospel of Jesus Christ are woven together to provide a faith-promoting experience, well worth the time of the reader.
Huge congratulations. Sources, appendix, pictures, maps, writing style, bringing your ancestors out of obscurity, giving them personalities.....this is a treasure. I remember well your mother and her interest in Titus Billings---and now look what you have done. What a wonderful contribution you have made to your family and to the Church. You manuscript reminds me in a descriptive manner of the greatness of Titus and his extended family. Thanks for much for sharing with me your scholarship and love for the man that Joseph loved. Have a great day--you made mine wonderful.
Susan Easton Black
A long awaited story, decades waiting to be told, of family, faith, and fortitude. This narrative is wonderfully woven with fact and fiction, documentation and details. Thank you, Susan, for knitting the threads of the life of an ordinary man into the fabric of an extraordinary man. Titus would be honored, and I am grateful "that our children may know.
Randy B. Shaw
Susan Billings Mitchell’s “Forever Stalwart”, the first book-length account of Titus Billings and his family, the great Mormon Pioneer Leader and friend to the Prophet Joseph Smith and contemporaries, is a page-turner. Mitchell ‘s easy text weaves historical fact and unique characters with such meaty narrative, it left me feeling that if any of them had walked into my office, I would feel to greet them as friends. This is history as it is meant to be written and so rarely achieved. It will reward the reader, not just by acquainting us with great early Latter-day Saints, but in understanding the times they lived and their struggles to achieve a promised better world.