Thursday, June 20, 2013

the book of mormon girl

The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American FaithThe Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith by Joanna Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love this book. I wanted it to speak to who I am and how I have been raised. I wanted Brooks’ beliefs and experiences to echo my own. Perhaps this is because it is rare to see lives like those of my Mormon faith mirrored around me, and perhaps it is an oversimplification to expect that any two people can really have the same experience. But when I read Elna Baker’s memoir, I felt like she was speaking in a voice I did not know I had. Reading Brooks’ I felt like I was watching a gutted version of a Mormon upbringing. It was too neat, too stereotypical, too slowly told. However, about halfway into the book, I felt the connection I had been craving all along, and I realized that while Brooks’ book is not a masterpiece, it is still well done. It opens an important dialogue about individual experiences in their attempts to navigate Mormon living and faith in a complicated world. I love that Brooks’ takes a stand against a “one size fits all” version of faith, righteous living, and world views. And now more than anything I just want to talk…with anyone and everyone about what it’s like to be them, whether they’re having a Mormon, Catholic, male, female, young, old, or just human experience. There is so much to learn and understand about others that we so often are too busy or too assuming to see.

Short version – if you read this, tell me. I am dying to know what you think.

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