I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a book marketed as Christian fiction did not paint a favorable picture of early Mormons or the practice of polygamy. Camilla is an only child who is often treated harshly by her father. One day when being punished by being made to carry a heavy burden to school, she meets Nathan, a Mormon who is part of a group temporarily staying in the neighborhood. It is almost love at first sight, and eventually Nathan asks her to leave with him when the group heads for Utah. She knows little about the religion and joins to be with him. She is baptized and they are married, and eventually have two girls. After the death of their third child, a boy, Nathan becomes depressed. Seeking solace in God and in the teachings of the Mormon church, he becomes convinced that it is God's will that he take another wife. It is after the death of their child that Camilla becomes convinced that the Mormon faith is a lie. Obviously this creates more than one conflict.
As I've said before, I often find that Christian fiction writers don't accurately portray Catholicism, so I'm not sure how much of what Pittman writes about the Mormon church is true. This book is the first in a trilogy, and its ending is a cliff-hanger (somewhat resolved by giving you the first chapter of the next book in the same volume).
Still, it was an enjoyable read about an interesting part of our country's history. Grade: B.
I'd like to thank Rebeca with Glass Road PR for providing a review copy.
Historically there is some truth to the story because polygamy was practiced in the early days of the LDS church, although those who did were a minority, not a majority.ReplyDelete
I completely agree with you though, that it's impossible to accurately portray a faith you not only don't embrace, but disagree with entirely.
I wonder if this novel was intended (at least in part) as a tool for persuading any possible Mormon readers to abandon Mormonism and/or to keep readers from being tempted to become Mormon.ReplyDelete
I'm not surprised that Protestant fiction writers often don't portray the Catholic Church accurately. As with the novel you reviewed here, I wonder if one of their motives is to dissuade people from becoming Catholic or to get Catholics to leave the Church for a Protestant denomination.
Evan, I'm sure that convincing readers of the errors of the Mormon faith was part of the reason the author had for writing--she basically states that in the notes in the back of the book.ReplyDelete
Of course, as a Catholic I believe the Mormon faith is built on either a delusion or a lie (and I have no idea which) but I think that belief disqualifies me from writing much of anything about their faith experience (as opposed to the rules and beliefs of their faith, which can be determined from research).
I just question whether a book like this could either convert Mormons away from their faith, or convince someone considering that faith to reconsider. That the Mormons practiced polygamy is a historical fact. That at least some first wives were unhappy when their husbands took additional wives isn't hard to imagine.
I agree. It's true that since we haven't been Mormon, we probably couldn't do justice to writing about the Mormon "faith experience", as you say. It's been said that polygamy is an "albatross around the neck" of the Mormon church. I suspect that many Mormons look on that aspect of their history with embarrassment!
No, I can't imagine that any woman would actually be happy if her husband took on an additional wife. How could she?
Is Mormonism based on delusions or lies? I suspect the latter. Joseph Smith strikes me as nothing but a religious con artist.
Have a blessed week!