Beth's Reviews > Heaven Knows Why

Heaven Knows Why by Samuel W. Taylor
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's review
Feb 19, 2008

it was ok
Read in March, 2006

Supposedly this is one of the hallmarks of Mormon literature, even though I’d never heard of it. The premise is interesting and clever: Moroni Skinner, who has completed a full life on earth, looks down from heaven and is frustrated with his grandson, who is amounting to nothing due to his lazy attitude. Moroni decides that what his grandson needs is a gentle push from beyond (i.e., a visit from his grandfather) to marry the town sweetheart and make a name for himself in the valley.

It’s a pretty well-written book — you can feel the small-town feeling in the dialect. But as kind of a Molly-Mormon girl myself, I could see why not many Mormons have read this book and why Deseret Book hasn’t picked up its publication or anything. The text is generously littered with the “minor” swear words, the bishop has his calling based on the amount of land he owns, and the Word of Wisdom is treated as a burden rather than a blessing.

And for being touted as “the funniest Mormon novel” I wasn’t laughing nearly as often as I should be (come to think of it, did I laugh at all?)

Still, I thought that the underlying theme was good: through hard work and courage, you can succeed. It’s an interesting path to see how the grandson so dramatically alters the course of his life — and the lives of all the folks around him.

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