Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Lost Argument” as Want to Read:
A Lost Argument
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Excerpt

A Lost Argument

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The summer after her freshman year at all-Mormon Brigham Young University, Marguerite Farnsworth falls in love with philosophy by way of falling in love with an atheist philosophy student. Her search for Truth (with a capital T), God, the meaning of life, and a boyfriend leads her away from religious belief, but along the way she learns there are things even atheists can h ...more
Paperback, 1st Edition, 260 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Strange Violin Editions (first published August 18th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Lost Argument, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Lost Argument

Leaving the Saints by Martha N. BeckUnder the Banner of Heaven by Jon KrakauerThe Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith Jr.From Housewife to Heretic by Sonia JohnsonSecret Ceremonies by Deborah Laake
Questioning Mormonism
9th out of 27 books — 30 voters
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeComplicate Me by M.  RobinsonThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerForbid Me by M.  RobinsonWood, Talc and Mr. J by Chris   Rose
Great Coming-Of-Age Books
207th out of 448 books — 548 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 454)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this one. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but I kind of loved how the cover and even the title (especially the "A Latter-Day Novel" part) struck me as so...LDS. My grandmother used to send me lame LDS novels as a young teen and the cover of this just struck me as so similar to those "faith-promoting" works somehow.

I loved how inside the mind of the the main character you get. By the end of the book I felt like she was a real person. Of course, much of
Libbie Hawker (L.M. Ironside)
I'm unsure exactly where I come down on this book, so I'm splitting the difference and giving it a nice, safe middle rating.

There were things I enjoyed and things I did not.

What I liked: it's fascinating to watch the journey out of religion, and for many people/characters, it's also emotionally wrenching to experience that particular journey. This book struck a chord with me since, like the main character Marguerite, I was raised Mormon and eventually left the Church when I was in my twenties.
Soren Narnia
This is an unusually sensitive and skillfully rendered portrait of a young woman's search for a way to reconcile her religious beliefs with her yearning for the kind of love she, and anyone her age, craves. It's a universal dilemma and a universal struggle, so the story can be enjoyed by anyone who has ever had any sort of crisis of faith or beliefs, or even just a sense that the world can't provide everything you desire unless you embark upon a profound change within yourself. There's enough hu ...more
Theresa Doucet is a very good writer. I hope she keeps writing, and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Let me first say how I came to this novel, A LOST ARGUMENT.

I follow a few Mormon blogs, including some a little more scholarly than others. (I aspire.) Since I do some writing myself, I also pay particular attention to new writers in the Mormon tradition, since that's my background, too. On one of the blogs, I noticed a discussion about this book. I followed some hyperlinks. Consequent
Steven L.
Almost an anti-romance, this book follows a young lady's search for love that ends in a love for truth. I found this book with its portrayal of the stark realities of relationships and the challenges of existence a clear-eyed examination of some of life's most difficult questions. What I loved most about the book was that it did not shy away from going more deeply into philosophy than about any book I can remember since The Elegance of the Hedgehog. It follows a path that ranges from Kierkegaard ...more
"A Lost Argument" chronicles the intellectual journey of Marguerite Farnsworth from a faithful, if questioning, LDS girl to an agnostic, mature, questing young woman.

I would love to be friends with Marguerite. She's intelligent, well-read, thinks deeply, and cares deeply about those around her. Her flaws are difficulties I have faced (though in miniature--I've never struggled with suicidal thoughts as she does). There was a time in my life this book would have been a life saver just because Marg
This is an intriguing book. It was a fun and thought-provoking story that surprised me with its sharp psychology as well as with its take on philosophy.
I enjoyed the main character, Marguerite, a complex young woman searching for Truth, and, possibly, for love. Her diary entries were my favorite part, since we got an honest look into the psyche of someone struggling with faith and with life in general. She had some moments where her indecisiveness made the reader want to throttle her, but I sup
Therese Doucet writes an interesting look at a young woman, raised in the Mormon faith, who goes off to college and struggles with her spirituality. Raised in such a strict faith and attending Brigham Young University, founded by the Mormon church, Marguerite struggles with faith, God, and morals while trying to find herself. Marguerite is a smart girl, pushing herself in her studies and trying to learn as much about philospohy and religion as she can. The novel takes place over the course of a ...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Writing a semi-autobiographical novel, especially as one's first book, can be a cathartic experience but also one laced with challenges, as neatly demonstrated by Therese Doucet's "recovered Mormon" tale A Lost Argument, precisely because it can be difficult to for the author to separate themselves from t
I enjoyed A lost Argument, especially the 2nd half. This is a great book for discussion. Philosophy and Faith are difficult topics to write about and sometimes harder to read. Therese did a wonderful job. I am sending this book on to a friend so we can have our discussion/debate!

I received this book free through a Goodreads giveaway.
I received this book as a give-away. In fact, I would never have bought it because of the terrible cover...
Now I've finished the book, I'm glad I received a copy, because I really liked it.

In Belgium we're not that religious, so it's a bit of an uncommon subject. The first part makes me think of a love triangle with all its difficulties. I think it's pretty comparable.
I also loved the way Margareth discussed with John and her friends about her believes and her anxieties.

It was fascinating ho
Chris Maroney
A fascinating look a metamorphosis of faith. Comming from a common background it was interesting to see the path traveled and the ending point of the authors belief and faith in a higher power. The development of the main character and her relationships was, for the most part, well done. I followed her evolving beliefs and could see how they were justified through the events taking place until the last chapter. I would liked to have seen a couple more chapters detailing the path from belief in a ...more
I tried to like this little book---evidenced by the fact that even though I couldn't enjoy it, I finished it.
I love to read of peoples' personal experiences as they seek and find or lose their faith. My problem with this book was just the style of writing. It kept feeling to me to be very very self-conscious and sophomoric. Frankly, I think I didn't believe at all that it was fiction. It read too much like a memoir---and if it had identified itself as one, I would have enjoyed it better and give
As a memoir (or thinly veiled one), I really enjoyed this and found a lot to identify with from my own young Mormon life at BYU. I didn't relate to the depression aspect as much, but overall, I found her story compelling and told in a way that was intriguing. I didn't find the conclusions inevitable, and the protagonist gets caught up in her head a lot, but I still felt inclined to care.
Angie Hardy
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. This was an interesting book. Overall I enjoyed this book and found it to be thought-provoking. I think discussions about this book could be fascinating.

I liked the dramatic, traditional narrative trajectory of Part I. It pits an innocent, college-aged Mormon woman against real arguments to her faith. I was also riveted by the love story. At first, I felt tricked by a particular scene toward the end of Part I, but I have since thought that it had the appropriate effect of emphasizing in the reader's mind just how much Marguerite longed for being loved and wanted. The author handles the characters and scenes in Part I well, maintaining a balance ...more
Geoff Kabaservice
A wonderful intellectual/personal/romantic novel about the narrator's journey out of Mormonism. Beautifully written, funny, and poignant. Highly recommended!
This book was an intriguing, and sometimes painful, look at the struggle to find meaning in life, to find meaning in faith. Marguerite's inner turmoil was alternately completely relate-able, and completely frustrating to me. As I journeyed with her I wondered why she made the decisions she did. Why not ask for more help from friends and family? Why not seek professional medical help sooner? Why wait on a silent God? How can she keep having faith when she's not getting any answers? Why resign her ...more
Jeff Raymond
There was a movie that came out 10 or so years ago by Richard Linklater called Waking Life. It was a strange movie, for sure, but had its moments as it took a loose narrative and attached a significant philosophical discussion/debate around the plot. At the end of the day, the movie didn't do a ton for me, but it was an interesting way to present a certain philosophy.

A Lost Argument is very much a literary Waking Life in a lot of ways, as the story follows a female Mormon student as she traverse
This is an interesting book about a young Morman philosophy student who experiences a crisis of faith. The book veers from first to third person which can leave you feeling a bit jangled and if you are not familiar with the German existentialists, then you will probably get a headache trying to follow all the references.

This young virgin spends a lot of time thinking about men and sex and philosophy and is also struggling with depression. I want to ask the protagonist to give Buddhism a try, as
I'm torn on how to review this book. I enjoyed watching the journey unfold, however I'm not sure I liked the switching back and forth from first person to third person. It felt clunky for me.

I did, however, quite enjoy all of the philosophical arguments that went on.
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway

I enjoyed how the journey unfolded, but the switching back and forth from first person to third person isn't something I like but other than that it was a good read.
I like the concept of this book but found the main character to be quite whiny. Also sad there was never any resolution with her boy issue, but I guess that is real life.
Kent marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2015
November Delane
November Delane marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2015
Kaitlyn Coates
Kaitlyn Coates marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2015
Janice marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
Lucy James Potter
Lucy James Potter marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2015
Erfan marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2015
Micah Fagre
Micah Fagre marked it as to-read
May 31, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Short Stay in Hell
  • The Prince of Soul and The Lighthouse
  • Hammered: Memoir of an Addict
  • The Backslider
  • The Half Life of Ryan Davis
  • Wolf Hunt: The Burning Ages
  • Slippery Souls (Sunray Bay, #1)
  • Myth Man
  • Laughing at Wall Street: How I Beat the Pros at Investing (by Reading Tabloids, Shopping at the Mall, and Connecting on Facebook) and How You Can, Too
  • Prime Time
  • Byuck
  • Book of Prophecies
  • No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life (Great Courses, #437)
  • Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics
  • Sleeper's Run
  • Dark Side of Valor: A Novel
  • Collateral Damage (Matt Royal Mystery #6)
  • Say Not "What If"
Therese Doucet grew up in Tucson, Arizona, with a lot of cactuses in her front yard. She studied philosophy at Brigham Young University and earned graduate degrees in cultural history and public policy from the University of Chicago and The George Washington University. She lives and works in Washington, D.C.
More about Therese Doucet...

Share This Book

“Maybe I’m strange and perverse, but I’ve always thought there was something sexy about a compelling argument.” 25 likes
“I want to see the world without explaining away its mystery by calling things wicked, righteous, sinful, and good. I want to erase in myself the easy explanations, the always mendacious explanations about why things happen the way they do, and in this way, come to know the mystery of being–-not by any approximation in thought, but by being. I want to be and not be ashamed of being.” 17 likes
More quotes…