Jennie'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
Nov 25, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2009

The best way to summarize my review of this book is in short responses. They contain the shock and absolute disgust I felt while reading of the practices that are so commonplace within the FLDS!

What? Why? Disgusting! Appalling! Seriously? Child Bride Much? Welfare Overload! Loss of Childhood! Ridiculous! Creepy! Eeeww!!

Basically, this is a non-fiction book that has a dream to become a fiction novel. The author weaves the story so well I could almost call it fiction, if it weren’t so absolutely disgustingly true. Reading about the FLDS (and other names for similar off-shoots) is similar to watching a car crash. You know it is going to end horribly but yet, you continue to watch, or read in this instance! I was revolting in the marriage practices involving young girls and the coercion practices used to bully these children into marrying an old man. Tormenting children that there entire family will be eternally dammed unless they marry this man that is old enough to be there Grandfather, or Great-Grandfather, is despicable. The complete isolation of the women and children to the outside world is the only way the compounds are able to continue operating because if the individuals had access to the outside world, they would realize how wrong the entire practice of young brides really is. In my opinion, anything that can only thrive within a restricted and isolated boundary can’t be something good.

This book also goes into the history of the Mormon Church, from its Joseph Smith roots to the major division after polygamy was changed to an unacceptable practice within the church. While the history was a bit tedious, it added tremendously to the story and the understanding of the entire religious frame. I had no idea that there was such a blood bath history within the Mormon Church! This was a very informative and interesting book to read. It is likely to leave you with a frustrated feeling that these situations were allowed to occur and ignored for so many years.

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Reading Progress

November 25, 2008 – Shelved
August 8, 2009 –
page 8
August 9, 2009 –
page 43
August 10, 2009 –
page 73
August 11, 2009 –
page 97
24.31% "Oh my!"
August 11, 2009 –
page 136
August 13, 2009 –
page 202
August 13, 2009 –
page 211
August 14, 2009 –
page 251
Started Reading
August 15, 2009 – Finished Reading
August 16, 2009 – Shelved as: read-in-2009

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