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Friday, January 19, 2018

Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks

Every Mormon girl has a story to tell. This groundbreaking memoir brings you into one of America’s most fascinating but least understood religious traditions. With humor, tenderness, and honesty, The Book of Mormon Girl reveals what it’s like to grow up in a world where angels stand at our bedsides and ancestors know our names, where Coca-Cola is forbidden fruit and Marie Osmond is a style icon. This is a story about leaving behind the innocence of childhood belief and embracing the complications and heartbreaks that come to every adult life of faith.

Every year my husband and I choose a book for each other. This year he chose Book of Mormon Girl for me. He is a liberal Mormon so this novel was personal for him in so many ways, even though he is not a girl.

I enjoyed reading this. It shows the LDS Church is a way I have never seen it before, not just from the eyes of someone who grew up within the church but as someone who felt like the church betrayed her simply because she wouldn't stay thinking inside their bubble.

Joanna grows up in love with God and her faith, knowing she has a set plan for her life. She cans peaches, goes to church, spends time with her family and is teased, mocked and tormented because of her faith. She is Mormon in California when other Christians considered them a cult and "un christian."

You are with her as she attends BYU, never seems to meet the "perfect" Mormon man , becomes a feminist, is bullied by other Mormons and eventually marries a Jewish man

I teared up reading about how hard it was to believe in her faith at the same time that the church was condemning all feminists and gay people. Wanting to show the world she believed in a God that loved everyone, while at the same time practicing for when she would be excommunicated.

The author clearly loves her faith and her heritage, yet at them same time hating the politics and the stance church leaders hold on women's position within the church and how they treat those who are "different."

I admit, I couldn't relate to the novel and don't fully understand why she still even believes when so much of her personal ideas contradict church doctrine. I would have liked to know more about her  beliefs and why she became a feminist, what led her away from the conservative path so to speak- hence the three star rating. She spends so much time describing her child hood and then jumps into her days at BYU and the latter half of the book felt lacking.

The only part I really connected with was a scene where she is watching Days of Our Lives while she and her mom fold laundry in the living room. I must have done that with my own mother more than a dozen times.

With the new Prophet this book is even more prevalent and I got to listen to Ms. Brooks speak on NPR- she has a new novel coming out.  I think this is a great read, especially in these modern times of President Trump.