Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review -- 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 enjoyment rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source:  Nook
Genre:  Memoir
Objectionable material: None

I’ve often heard that being a Mormon is like being Jewish – it’s more than just a religion, but a history, a tradition, a nationality.

In her book, The Book of Mormon Girl, Joanna Brooks shares with us her Mormon-ness – how it’s her faith, her history and her tradition.

But she also shares her struggles as a feminist writer at a time with the Church did not welcome such open dialogue and criticism from a group of vocal women writers. She explores the agony she felt at being abandoned by her faith, as well as her reconciliation, even though it was (and continues to be) a difficult journey.

I too am a Mormon, and like Ms. Brooks share a faith and a tradition that travels deep within the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. I too have struggled as a “feminist” liberal woman within the very conservative, patriarchal roles espoused by the Church. Her story was familiar and poetic. It resonated deeply.

My only wish was that she had written more. I could have read another 200 pages.

In many ways…it could be my story.


  1. I'm going to have to read this! I've gotten to know so many fantastic, spirited, independent-thinking, Mormon women through blogging, and I've been very curious how they navigate the institutional aspects of their faith culture.

  2. How wonderful to read a book that you can relate to so well! That is so rare.

  3. I saw the author on Rock Center during an episode they did exploring Mormonism. I thought she articulately expressed her challenges with the Church while also showing a respect for the institution and you could tell how much the Church meant to her. Thanks for sharing your feelings on the book!

  4. I think your personal response to the book is beautifully written! I've had this one on my to-read list for a while ... I guess I ought to read it sooner than later.

  5. I haven't read this (though it's on my radar), partially because I'm jealous: I knew Joanna Brooks at BYU (though only indirectly; I ran in circles where she was big) and I'm vaguely jealous of her success. Though, it's good to know that it was actually a good book. She's a smart, talented woman, and I shouldn't let my insecurities get in the way. Right?