Someone mentioned this book in their blog and since I’m ever in search of something new to read, I thought I’d give it a shot.  I was especially intrigued to learn that the main character and her family is LDS.  I wondered if the author was LDS and if not, where she got off trying to write about us.

It’s a catch-22.  I want to see more LDS characters but I don’t want them written by people who don’t have the “right.”  *shakes head at self*

My verdict on the LDS-ness of the characters: she tried and she didn’t do too badly.  Honestly, if I ever write a story with a character who is deeply part of a religion that I don’t know, I’ll get someone who was from that religion to read the pertinent portions first.  It’s not so much that she got it wrong as it’s kinda tilted.  In discussing Ronnie’s (the character) relationship with her non-LDS friends, she mentions things she can’t talk about with them, not just the things she literally couldn’t talk about like the rituals.

Rituals.  Oy.  There are so many reasons that’s off: we would say “temple ordinances” instead of rituals and the impression that I get from the narration, at the time the character says this she’s too young to have participated in more than baptisms for the dead.  (On the other hand, the story is told in a retrospect that’s hard to gauge; it’s both part of the charm and a bit of an annoyance that it’s not always clear whether the character is speaking of herself at that moment in time or from the vantage point of the implied years.)  It’s not a big deal but it is something that makes me twitch.

Check me on this: a child born to parents who were sealed in the temple does not need to be sealed to the family as they are already born in the covenant.  That’s another slip but overall inconsequential.

She says that we believe we become gods or goddesses when we die; the main character, in dressing her little sister’s body for burial, dresses her in her “Cindrella” dress because she imagines that the little goddess will want to twirl around in the puffy skirt.  Again, not entirely wrong but just that much off.

The author’s difficulty “talking the talk” notwithstanding however, I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would.  Reviews said it was very sad and I usually prefer upbeat books; however, this was one of those rare books that takes you through the valley of agony and darkness and leads you out again feeling changed.  I can’t say “better” or “brighter” because I don’t know yet.  I just feel… different.  Touched in a good way that (ovbiously) I can’t describe.

She even made sure Ronnie got married in the temple.  That’s one LDS touch that I’m very glad she put in.

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