I am an ex-Christian, and not an ex-Mormon, however I identified soooo much with this book of stories. I was April, Lynn and Jill. It was the little things really - that I only had one "church friend" because our church was small and exclusive and there were only a few other kids my age. Especially poignant are the stories of discovering sexuality, and the shame and guilt that go with that in a conservative Christian environment. Like the first time reading the word "masturbation" and recognizing what it is I do (several times a week). Then rationalizing by only fantasizing about married sex.
It follows the stories of several different characters who's lives are all connected in some way. All the characters are written with love and humor, giving them depth and clear room to grow and learn, whether they remain in the faith or leave it. It shows the interactions between believers, doubters and unbelievers in a realistic way, far more so than any other book I've read on this topic. It also shows how leaving the faith comes in many different ways for different people.
I just felt that I had to say something, because I simply loved this book.
Now in a spiffy new-and-improved illustrated edition, this book was written by a multi-talented former Mormon who's now an expatriate living with her family in Switzerland (she's also a blogger, and did her own illustrations for the book). It's a series of novellas with linked characters and plots, and centers around the experience of growing up Mormon. Some characters are true believers, some are skeptics or struggling, and others have left the Church. The stories explore conflicts between people in various states of Mormon-ness and the world outside Mormonism. While the book has some of the usual flaws of a first novel (e.g., sometimes it lacks scene-setting descriptions, or dialogue comes across as stiff and clunky), it also has a lot of insightfulness and humor, and is well worth a read for anyone interested in literary depictions of Mormons struggling with or leaving their faith.
If you're one of the nearly-two-thousand people who've read ExMormon -- if you have a minute to go add an Amazon review (or even just recommend the book to your friends), I'd really appreciate it! Thanks!! :D
I definitely feel for ex-mormons, especially in the beginning. I finished reading a good book online called Ex-Mormon.
Even though I didn't grow up Mormon, a lot of things were similar to my childhood in the church of christ. Its a good read if you have the time for it.