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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and unforgettable story, 26 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Torn by God: A Family's Struggle with Polygamy (Kindle Edition)
Murdock adopts a young girl's point of view in telling this heart-wrenching story of a family torn apart by Mormon fanaticism. The theme, centered on the destruction caused by religious extremism of any kind, plays out beautifully. I found myself haunted by Murdock's images and by her deeply felt story of a family's slow disintegration and the redemption they struggle to find.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Torn By God., 19 April 2010
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This is a powerful novel full of images.The story of a family all but torn apart by a mans' single minded belief in polygamy. It blinds him to the pain and heartbreak it causes his family.He fails to understand their resistance to his desires and they don't understand why he wants to destroy his family by trying to follow the old teachings of the Church. It vividly shows what damage can be done by people who are convinced that their belief is all that matters and the path they have chosen to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 5 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Torn by God: A Family's Struggle with Polygamy (Kindle Edition)
This is a novel apparently based on actual events which turns what might otherwise be read as a bit unbelievable into a more frightening read.
The author tells her story from the point of view of the young daughter. At times she appears to possess a maturity and thought processes which seem, at best, unlikely in one of her years (no age is actually given but other information would give an age of around 10 - 12yrs?) yet at other times rings authentically.
The entire subject of the book - Mormonism and the polygamist sub groups - reinforces my views, from wider, non fiction reading on it, that Mormons can in no way claim to be a Christian group. It comes across very strongly, yet again, that this group is founded on such a distortion of any possible legitimate links to Christian beliefs that it is difficult to see it as anything more legitimate than a cult.
The story amply illustrates most of the dangers of cults but the overwhelming feeling at the end of the book was one of great fear and sympathy for the children who are submerged in these environments by parents whose greatest concern is themselves whilst deluding themselves that they are doing the right thing by the children. At times I lost all patience with the Mother whose principal concern seemed to be her relationship with her husband, no matter what danger the children might be in or how they were suffering. At the same time, Father seemed entirely consumed by his own spiritual struggle to the total exclusion of everyone else but, most especially, his young children.
I gave this four stars because it is very readable but would have given only three had it not been based on a true story as, maybe it's personal naivety, as a straightforward work of fiction I would have found the insight and ability of the daughter difficult to believe in.
It would have been interesting to have had an afterword on the longer term outcome for the family, if the story did relate to a single family's experience. I sincerely hope that 'Beth' survived the trauma and became the well balanced, independent thinking woman she hoped to be.
Worth a read but if you are interested further read some non fiction on Mormonism. (the pro church stuff is enough on its own to expose the whole problem)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book - Torn by God., 30 Jun 2011
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Mr. J. W. Wiltshire (Westgate-on-Sea) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Torn by God: A Family's Struggle with Polygamy (Kindle Edition)
I found this an absolutely superb book. So well written and indeed so believable. It says at the beginning it is based on facts and that makes it all the more believable. The tension builds right from the start and tells of the family's decline because of one man's religious beliefs. The story is set, I believe in the 1950's or even 1960's and is told supposedly by the daughter in the family. The author paints such a vivid picture through this girls eyes, I felt that I was there with them. The story goes from happy to extremely sad. Even the ending left me, while feeling pleased that their troubles seemed to be over, I was not too sure. They had all learnt a lesson and indeed so had I. I recommend this book to anyone. You will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A search for God, 12 Jan 2013
Compelling and heartbreaking. Yes this is the story of a family blown apart by a man's obsession, by his return to patriarcal religious dogmas, yet I feel that most of all, it is a story about deep love, about a desperate search for the essential meaning of life, a search for one's soul. It is also a story about courage, resilience and initiation(the children are extraordinary in that respect), and eventually about humility and redemption. I think I will be haunted for a long time.
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