My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical / Inspirational
Book Description: "Upon Destiny’s Song" is a remarkable true story about sacrifice, courage and love. Ane Marie Madsen was only ten-years-old when she immigrated to Utah with her family. She was numbered in the ill-fated Willie Handcart Company of 1856, which saw the deaths of almost a third of the company when winter storms hit Wyoming. After settling in Utah, Ane Marie’s faith is tested once again as her path moves through the misadventures of colonizing a new territory ridden with danger and disease. Over 150 years later, descendent Mike Ericksen retells this epic journey and discovers lessons for his own modern sojourn.
Ericksen has previously told the story of his ancestors harrowing trek through song and speaking engagements held across the country. Now the amazing story and its beautiful message is finally available in "Upon Destiny’s Song.
My thoughts: This is a beautiful story. The story is basically two stories in one. Mike Ericksen is learning about his ancestors who traveled from Denmark and eventually were a part of the Willie Handcart Company.
The Martin and Willie Handcart Companies were both subject to extreme conditions. Many died on the journey to the Salt Lake Valley. Their stories have always been one of faith, endurance, and courage.
I enjoyed reading about Mike Ericksen's journey. He related events in his life that led him to searching out his ancestor, Ane Marie Madsen. Interspersed through Mikes story, his ancestor's story is told. The book takes the perspective of the Madsen family. You could see the progression of their faith and courage first as they are baptized into the LDS church, and then through the trial of traveling across the United Stated by handcart. I really appreciated this format. It gave me a better understanding of genealogy and the way looking back at ancestors gives strength and understand of modern day trials. The admiration that Mike Erickson felt for the Madsen family came through the pages of the book and permeated the story.
My husband and children are descendants of a member of the Martin Handcart Company, Margaretta Unwin Clark. I know what value this heritage is to my family. This book perhaps held a deeper meaning to me because of the connection and similarities between the two companies. I feel that this book would be of great worth to anyone who wants to read a story of courage, faith, and a love of family and God.
The book comes with a music CD of four songs. Three were written by Mike Ericksen and one by his brother. They were a wonderful compliment to the story.
About the Author: Mike Ericksen has been a devout student of the trail of the handcart pioneers since learning of his family’s trek from Denmark to Utah in 1856. In the past 10 years he has spoken in many programs and firesides across the country and has produced films and music related to the stories and events of the pioneers. The documentary Walking in Obedience produced by Ericksen in conjunction with Groberg Films and Dreamchaser, has been heralded as a “historical masterpiece” and has been shown around the country receiving acclamations and awards at film festivals and firesides. An accomplished classical guitarist, Mike has produced four musical albums to date, and is currently playing with the band Cedar Breaks. He is passionate about music, writing, faith and family. He enjoys nature, tennis and yoga, and currently resides in Utah with his wife Cheri. Together they have four children and eight grandchildren.