Top positive review
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Laugh or cry?
on 21 May 2013
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!