by Shawn Vestal
Penguin (April 2016)
What's It All About?
Fifteen-year-old Loretta slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet a so-called gentile. Her strict Mormon parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. Then Dean’s teenage nephew, Jason, falls for Loretta. A Zeppelin and Tolkien fan, Jason worships Evel Knievel and longs to leave his close-minded community. He and Loretta make a break for it. They drive all night, stay in hotels, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom as they seek to recover Dean’s cache of “Mormon gold.” But someone Loretta left behind is on their trail…
Who Should Read It?
Read it if you liked The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall, HBO's Big Love, or The Book of Mormon. Vestal evokes the ’70s and the West masterfully, but I found it hard to connect with or care about any of the characters. I was in no hurry to finish it. 2 stars.
What Else Should I Read?
- The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
- Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Don't take my word for it! Check out these reviews:
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