Elizabeth Wallace's Reviews > Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
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's review
Oct 19, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Darcy
Read in October, 2008 , read count: 1

I'll say it again, I hardly EVER read non-fiction, but this book in many places reads like a novel. It's FASCINATING, but also pretty disturbing. In short, the author starts with a murder in 1985, committed by two Fundamentalist Mormons (the mainstream Mormon church doesn't endorse polygamy. Fundamentalist Mormons do.) Then the author jumps around in time, looking at the start of the church, and then going forward a bit to look at Fundamentalist Mormon cities (where girls are often married, and pregnant, by 14) and the lives of these two men and how they came to believe that this murder was ordered by God.

Obviously Krakauer is not a Mormon. But I really think he did a very fair job of describing the church and its practices. (Though apparently the Mormon church doesn't think so. I hear he's received death threats. Nice.)

It's an easy read, though you might not enjoy the descriptions of either the murders or what life is like for women in Fundamentalist Mormon cities (it set me into a slow boil myself) but it's an extremely interesting, well-written book.

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