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The Friday Gospels Hardcover – 17 Jan 2013

41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (17 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444707728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444707724
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 3.1 x 22.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 605,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Utterly, compulsively readable, [it] could be this award-winning young author's best novel yet. (The Sunday Times)

A serious, distinctive and eminently readable story of faith and family; about the demands of the world and the desires of the individual. (Independent on Sunday)

Ashworth's most confident work yet and one that strengthens her reputation as an author worth watching. (Sunday Telegraph)

A serious novel seriously engaged with big themes. It is also very funny. (Andrew Miller, author of PURE)

It is rare to find a novel that is so complex, so damn clever and yet at once readable... a truly exceptional novel. (Helen Walsh, author of BRASS)

Ashworth appears less interested in spreading a simple, comforting message than in uncovering the messy complexities of people, families and faith (Observer)

Book Description

The tale of an English Mormon family and the day the cracks in their lives yawn into chasms, as savagely funny as it is tragic.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mormon8r on 21 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A witty and poignant exploration of family life within Mormonism. I was hooked from page one.

As a lifelong member, I read with amusement the familiar scenes that are an everyday part of our culture. The author's attention to detail made me chuckle out loud; from the Schloer in plastic cups (a staple of every Mormon gathering in the UK), and the licked cupcake / sexual purity analogy, to the diligently laminated, clip-art embellished handouts (a virtually compulsory addition to a lesson taught by any self-respecting (female) Sunday School teacher - I know, I have created hundreds of the damn things!), the novel provides a humorous glimpse into the lived-in experience of members up and down the country.

This comical view of the religion's quirks is delicately balanced against some of its more troubling aspects. Fear, secrecy, suffering, hypocrisy, judgemental attitudes, and constant pressure of perfectionism are as ubiquitous amongst the 'one and only true church' as white shirts and ties. Never judgemental herself, Ashworth offers her observations and leaves us to form our own opinions.

The shifting narrative perspective is carried out with dexterity, providing a touching insight to the thoughts and feelings of each member of the Leeke family. This access to their inner-world makes it almost impossible not to like them all - despite their foibles and flaws.

A must-read for anyone one whose lives have been affected by the Mormon church. And a highly entertaining exploration of its idiosyncrasies for everyone else!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Carys on 19 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is heart-breaking, funny and technically brilliant. I was fully immersed in the Leeke family's world and didn't want the novel to end. Having said that, the ending was beautifully handled; I loved the subtle way Ashworth employed sacrifice, atonement and redemption to bring the family together in the final scenes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ACB(swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER on 23 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The book description of Jenn Ashworth's third novel outlines its basic content. The Leeke family are dysfunctional to the point where they are unable to express or communicate themselves to one another or even with outside kindred. They remain distinct individuals with no one particularly dominant. The author demonstrates this in a balanced series of monologues taken by each of the five family members amplifying their imperfections and perspectives. The depth of the characters is portrayed with a skilled blend of dark humour and melancholy. The reader is sucked into the disordered and disturbed family who await missionary Gary's return from Utah, hopefully as the family saviour. He, as we find, has his own troubles to add to the others' hopes, secrets and dreams, heading them all toward dissolution.

This is an exceptional novel that gives a rare insight into a Mormon family and way of life. It is much more than that, however, presenting a narrative written with vivid, distinctive prose of extraordinary complexity. The gradual build up to the climactic reunion turns it into something of a shock with affecting poignancy. Deeply moving but also affectionately composed and very humourous. Jenn Ashworth has given us a memorable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Broadley on 2 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book while sitting on a deckchair in the rain at the Edinburgh Book Festival. Over a couple of days I sat in the same deckchair, which seemed to wait on my appearance every morning and I carried on where I left off. After a while the rain dripping off my nose didn't even register, which is the great thing about reading an intriguing book. You are hooked and all is quiet as you devour the words and chapters.

The Friday Gospels by Jenn Ashworth is a riveting read from the start. It starts off by introducing you to all the main characters through their own chapters and filling you with knowledge of daily life within the Mormon Community. You gather all the different traits and mishaps of each family member as you continue to read and it doesn't take long to fit all the family-tree pieces together. However, saying that, I did not see the end coming at all. Reading this book, I was convinced this was Jenn Ashowrth's real-life story, but there is nothing to say that it is. The detail and research that has gone into the completion of this tale as accurately as possible is astounding.

I was prepared for Gary to throw the towel in, I wanted his mum to go and see about her ailments before she was no longer with us and Jenny needed her Mr Darcy to appear and whisk her off to live happily ever after somewhere else. I began to care what their future held and it wasn't looking good for some of them.

This book does not have a 'big-bow' ending, it's a story of an unconventional family and the blood bond that holds them together but also drives them apart. I'm sure every reader will relate to each and every one of the slightly odd family members as they find their way in their somewhat restricted world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 21 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
wonderfully written insight into an much unreported community, the british arm of an an american religion

thought the various storylines were entertaining, characters interesting, and with some nice 'what happened' questions to ponder over post book

@booklovinggirl "WW" - your comments about the author being 'terribly clever' and not attending school seem rather random and bitter??? whats up??
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