Lightning Tree Press Release

Sarah Dunster’s new book will be released: Lightning Tree

3/14/12″”Rexburg, Idaho & Provo, Utah””Sarah Dunster, award-winning poet and fiction writer, blogger and mother of seven announces the release of her historical fiction story Lightning Tree, available April 10th at selected bookstores and online at and Barnes & Noble.

Lightning Tree is a historical fiction and psychological drama set in the year 1858 in the small pioneer town of Provo, Utah. It follows fifteen-year-old Italian immigrant, Magdalena Chabert, who is orphaned and taken in by an American LDS family. “I began my journey in writing this story with Magdalena’s journey””the idea of an Italian immigrant girl, isolated from all she knew once, thrust into a culture that is not only completely alien to her but is very new””brand new: a brand new place, a brand new town, where everyone is trying to figure out who they are and how to band together in times of danger and trouble,” explains Dunster.

As the story progresses, Magdalena discovers terrible secrets about her foster family and then has to cope with the repercussions””including the struggle to figure out what is true and what are just figments of her own disturbed imagination. “Magdalena’s journey is a difficult one,” says Dunster. “She pursues forgotten memories, delves into potentially dangerous inquiries, and finally figures out how to accept help when she most needs it in the effort to find her family.”

Because the novel includes controversial events such as the Mountain Meadows Massacre and the Utah War as backstory, Dunster has done a lot of painstaking historical research to gain an idea of the people, places, and events that she depicts in her story.

Dunster finishes with what she hopes is the purpose of her book. “Community was absolutely essential on the Utah plains. I believe it is still essential, but we have lost it””our sense of community. This might be the root of many of the problems we struggle with today. I hope that people who read my story will come away with some ideas about how to incorporate the idea of community, and family as community, into their own lives.”

For more information about Sarah and to pre-order her book visit


About Sarah Dunster:

Sarah graduated from Brigham Young University with degrees in sychology and music, and whole lot of unnecessary creative writing classes under her belt. She has worked in many different situations, including a few residential treatment facilities, where she gained a knowledge and appreciation for people in all situations and walks of life. She has seven children, two adopted from Ethiopia. Her fiction and poetry have been published in several periodicals including Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and Segullah Magazine. Several of her poems were, also included in the groundbreaking anthology Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets.