The Book of Mormon Girl is a story about leaving behind the innocence of childhood belief and embracing the complications and heartbreaks that come to every adult life of faith. Joanna’s journey through her faith explores a side of the religion that is rarely put on display: its humanity, its tenderness, its humor, its internal struggles. In Joanna’s hands, the everyday experience of being a Mormon—without polygamy, without fundamentalism—unfolds in fascinating detail. With its revelations about a faith so often misunderstood and characterized by secrecy, The Book of Mormon Girl is a welcome advocate and necessary guide.
"This book is an interesting window into a famous but still very unknown religion: Mormonism. Brooks, a national voice on Mormon life and politics who is an award-winning scholar of religion and American culture, talks with a refreshing openness about what it was like to grow up Mormon. Her religion and the community that came with it was a source of great joy to her, then and now. But she hit a major stumbling block when she became a young woman and embraced many feminist beliefs, which she did not find contrary to her religion, but the leaders of the church did. She witnessed first hand the massive dismissal of many Brigham Young female professors, and the excommunication of scores of women from the church during a very troubled decade, causing rifts that still exist today. Brooks was not excommunicated, but she is no longer allowed to participate in communion at her church, and is only allowed into certain activities run by the church now that she has married a Jewish man in addition to believing in women's rights. But she powers on, trying to bolster the positives while struggling in whatever way she can to change the negatives. This book is eye opening in several ways, and brings a welcome, balanced and timely perspective on a religion that is suddenly in the news more and more often."