Camilla, a Biography of Camilla Eyring Kimball
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Camilla, a Biography of Camilla Eyring Kimball

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  226 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Camilla Eyring was born in 1894 in the Mormon colonies of northern Mexico. At seventeen she fled with her family from the dangers of revolution and was sent alone to Utah to finish high school and earn her own way into the world. Camilla tells her story, often in her own words, recounting her heritage, her high-spirited youth, and her struggles and triumphs as wife, mother...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published January 1st 1982 by Deseret Book Co (first published 1980)
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Beth
Much of this book was written in the first person by Sister Kimball herself. At first, I was surprised to read of all the memories recorded that seemed “less than perfect” — about how Camilla hated feeling out-of-style when she moved from Mexico to Utah or how she once climbed out of a bathroom window to avoid a date. She was the oldest of a large polygamous family, so when she got married, she didn’t invite her sibilngs because she was afraid they would tease her. She seemed … human.

It’s those...more
Autumn Sage
I enjoyed this book and found it interesting. I loved that it was taken mostly from her journals and so it was the real, every day life. It shows such an interesting side of the church in earlier days, starting out in the Colonia Juarez with polygamist parents and through a life that led her to be the wife of a prophet. It was filled with worry and heartache and struggles and you get to see a side that isn't usually seen in a prominent figure. I didn't feel, however that I got very much of the s...more
'becca
It was a lovely book. I think we often make those in leadership and their wives into "larger than life" people. I appreciated seeing that Camilla was just "people". Well, nobody's "just" anything. Everyone's important. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and our own stages of progression. Her strengths blew me away. I appreciate her example, and that she was real.
Michelle
Impossible to find, but wonderful to read if you can get your hands on it. It's the biography of Camilla Kimball, wife of President Spencer W. Kimball. My daughter was named after her.
Monica
a true genuine woman whose faith and determination will motivate anyone to move forward.
Michelle
The writing was far from being anything special, but the content was excellent. She had such an interesting life - polygamist parents, born in Mexico, a refugee in America at 17, a teacher, mother to four, wife to the President of the Church, world traveler, etc. I am inspired by her tirelessness. Despite a crazy life in the public eye and a husband who had very delicate health (hers wasn't the best either), she took the time to have luncheons, can fruits and vegetables, bake bread, send gifts,...more
Jeannie
I remember that the writing really wasn't really 5 star writing, but I am giving this one 5 stars because it inspired me and taught me so much about being a wife and mother. I read this shortly after I was married, and Sister Kimball's example taught me more about running an LDS home than any of the how-to books at the time. Not that I've mastered very much of it yet...

I had met Sister Kimball while at BYU, so this was a much anticipated book for me. During my years at BYU the General Authoriti...more
Kathrine Holyoak
While I give her sparkle and example a 6 star review, the author (her son) rates only a 1 or 2 with me, so that explains my average of 3 star rating. I wish she'd written an autobiography instead of coaching her son through a biography. The clips of her own writing (I assume from her journal and other letters) is how I fell in love with her. It is where how "real" she is came shining through. She could express emotions and thoughts her son would have felt disrespectful summarizing, thus his writ...more
Christy
Question: What does it take to become the wife of a prophet? Answer: Absolutely nothing, girls! Camilla Kimball was the most ordinary woman you could imagine. But she DID have the sense to marry a really righteous man. Otherwise, you couldn’t pick her out of a crowd. She worried about her clothes, and being liked. Once, when she and Spencer were at a Rotary convention, she sipped some liquor because she wondered what it tasted like.

Camilla’s childhood in Mexico interested me because it parallel...more
Haley
While this wasn't the most well written book I've ever read, I still enjoyed reading it and came to appreciated the rawness of it. It almost felt more like reading individual diary entries, which to me gave it a personal feel. It did jump around a bit with the timeline which was confusing at times. I felt it was worth reading because I definitely came away inspired and wanting to be a better person. It gave me insights on parenting, hard work, and faithful service which I hope I can implement in...more
Eric
Inspiring. I was surprised to read that Camilla was a refugee from Mexico as a young girl. Her family lost everything. She often battled with illness, her own and her husband's. She loved her family. She pinched pennies. She bottled watermelon rinds (pickled) because she couldn't stand to waste them. There was one person she didn't like (page 189). She saved leftover meat in a bag from an airplane flight, then wrote about it in her journal. She was human. She loved life (page 211).
Lowell
I read this because of a friend's review on Goodreads (thank you, Heather!). A solid, brief book about a good woman. Great!

Personal note: I never like the final 20 pages of biographies for people who are still alive. Their story is still being told, and the most recent history can't be put in proper context. They seem to skim a few key points to briefly fill in details and try to end with a "springboard" rather than a "conclusion." Apart from that, I love it.
Emily
This book makes me want to read more about the wives of the prophets. Sister Kimball lived an amazing life. You really get to see what her fears and challenges were and how real of a person she was. For example, she overlooked that Spencer was wearing white socks when she first met him. And she loved clothes, but never really had them and that was hard for her, especially in high school and college. Much of the book is from her own voice. It was wonderful!
Traci
Camilla Kimball, the wife of previous LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball, is a most amazing woman. My favorite thing about her is her human-ness. I can appreciate her candid discussion of her adolescent insecurities, and I love her for her faith even in great adversity. She was in every way a match for her husband, a most powerful and inspiring leader. This is a fantastic biography/autobiography of a most inspiring LDS woman.
Cassidy
I liked this book, but am giving it three stars because I wanted more. I wanted more description, more depth, more complexity. I understand the limitations that may have existed -- it was written when she was alive and shortly after her husband became the prophet. But I think there still could have been more. That said, it is refreshing and frank. She was interesting and flawed and inspirational. Definitely a good read.
Christina
I enjoyed reading about this amazingly wonderful woman. It is a neat insight into her work and support. This makes a good read for motivation to do better.

This book illustrated her life and shared some insight into the person she was--canning, cooking, planning, associating with people--all the work she did to be a good mother, wife, neighbor, friend, citizen, and to suppport her husband in his many church callings.
Missy
It has been years since I read this book but I loved it. Pres Kimball was the prophet when I was a child. The wives of the prophets always seem so perfect and now that I am a wife and mother it was so great to read this book and realize that Sister Kimball is an amazing woman but also so down to earth. It is out of print but if anyone can find a copy it is well worth your time.
Rachel
My grandma loaned me this so I gave it a try. I'm so glad I did. This was the most candid look at the wife of a prophet I have read. She admits faults throughout (often even in a humorous way), she seemed so human and real. My only complaint was that it was not longer. There were still so many things I wanted to know more about.

Surprisingly interesting biography.
Heather
A good biograpy about a GREAT woman. I loved the journal excerpts throughout the book. Makes me wish I kept a better journal. There were many inspiring and uplifting passages in it. However, I think it was a bit disjointed and lacked "something" in the writing. Still I am very glad I read it. It gave me a lot to think about as a wife, mother & disciple of Christ.
Swhite
Read this when I was like 10 or 11 and it got me started on biographies. Being inspired by real people with real experiences made me realize how much more there is to a person than just their "cover.". It also helped me see how upbringing and the power to chose obedience can prepare you for some sweet life experiences not otherwise afforded.
Haley
Initially, I was hesitant about this biography, because the writing seemed juvenile and choppy; but, in the end, I found myself pleasantly surprised. Camilla was an inspiring woman with spirit and spunk. Her story of faith, hard work, and dedication to family and church is worth knowing and sharing with others. I strongly recommend this book.
Suzan
Camilla Kimball was an amazing woman who had a very interesting life. She was truly a great woman but I appreciated seeing her human side in this book. She was bright, intelligent, curious, a hard worker, and someone who was deeply dedicated and loved the Lord, her husband, her family, and her church. She was an inspiring role model!
Preethi
A sweet little biography on Spencer W. Kimball's wife. Had some nice insights, and we really enjoyed her letters/journal entries. Not very extensive, and pretty short. Glosses over a good bit, but had some great personal touches. Overall, a fun little read.

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Cherre
Jan 27, 2009 Cherre added it
This book was a quick read. It was uplifting to see her example of hard work, thrift, faith and zest for life. An 80-year old woman riding a horse... now that's someone who's not afraid to live and enjoy each moment.
Celeste
Not my favorite biography. Camilla's life was interesting and she was a really good person, but this book is so poorly written that it felt like a bunch of little summaries of events from her life thrown together.
Katherine
I read this when I was a young adult, and I just loved her life, and idolized her, as I did President Kimball. They were a very wonderful and precious couple, as well as servants of the Lord.
Kelly
i read this book as a teenager. it was given to me by a seminary teacher. what an amazing, sweet woman camilla kimball was. i still feel a sense of awe when i remember this book.
Natalee
Jun 18, 2007 Natalee added it
Recommends it for: Yes
Camilla was an amazing yet real woman. It was so insightful to watch how she made her ordinary and humble life become extraordinary simply by living the gospel to it's fullest.
Meredith
This book is so interesting. I really identified with her on a number of levels. What a great lady! She is definitely someone I admire and want to be like.
Emily
I read this book in college...i need to read it again, but i was so inspired by this sweet lady's love of life and developing talents and all things good!
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