EscapeCarolyn Jessop

This true and grimly gripping biography pulls you in and grabs your imagination. To the average, educated midwesterner this story of polygamy, abuse and life in a totally insular religious community sounds like soap opera madness. But Jessop both lived it and survived it. As her community slid …

Hella Winston

unchosenI LOVE books on insular, orthodox religious groups. No idea why. They just fascinate me – Amish, Hutterite, Hasidim, Mormons. Why? Perhaps, as Winston points out in her introduction, we are both fascinated and revolted by the idea of living in such a close-knit, rule-ridden community because of …

leaving-the-saintsMartha Beck

I’m not sure really what to classify this book as. After deciding to have a Downs Syndrome baby, Beck describes her decision to leave grad school and Harvard to return to her hometown of Provo Utah and her Mormon family. Through a winding path she describes the friendliness …

Under the Banner of HeavenJon Krakauer

Krakauer has fast become one of my favorite non-fiction/journalistic writers. A writer for various travel magazines, Krakauer has turned a number of his articles into full size books. Under the Banner of Heaven follows the trial of Ron and Don Lafferty, two Mormon brothers who believed God had …