The Last Great Day

Benjamin Grant

It’s the end of the 1960’s in England, and Henry and Elizabeth Conroy are missionaries for the “World Wide Church”, a religious cult led by the prophet Harmon W. Abrams. Henry is a dutiful minister, who, along with his wife, shepherds members to follow Abram’s teachings before his end-of-the-word prophecy. Allegiance to Abrams is paramount over even extended family relationships. Because of this,  Elizabeth has never met her mother-in-law though she inwardly yearns for this relationship for herself and her family.  Everything hinges on Abram’s prophecies, but there are inconsistencies in the church’s doctrines and about Abrams himself, and as prophesied events do not unfold as stated.  The Conroy’s begin to question their beliefs, as well as Abram’s stability, morality and honesty..  This leads them on a journey across the world to Australia, then to California.  The humility in which the Conroy’s search for truth is chronicled in the experiences of their family as they struggle to define what is true in their religion, and what limits, if any, they must impose on their beliefs. 

Benjamin Mitchell’s writing style, and straightforward narrative make the reading of the story flow beautifully.  He persuades the reader to view the lonely struggle of religious extremists who are cut off from interactions with the world due to their beliefs.   Mitchell attempts to explore issues about love, trust, child rearing and morality in the context of faith. However, such important issues are given only surface examinations, with nothing  addressed deeply. Nevertheless, the author writes with an honesty and sincerity that goes far to make up for any shortcomings in the telling of this story.

Beth Chamberlain