Monday, March 25, 2013

Leaving the Saints, by Martha Beck

Leaving the Saints, Martha Beck.  New York:  Crown Publishers, 2005.  e-book, 272 pps.

Martha and John Beck are a young couple who both grew up in Provo, Utah in Mormon households.  They were married in an Latter Day Saints temple.  They moved east to Boston, had a child and then had another.  Child two has Down Syndrome so the couple decided to move back to their childhood town of Provo, Utah so they could have the support of the close-knit Mormon community.

What had begun to happen to Martha back east evolved into a full-blown mess.  Her father, a sainted pillar of the Church, had sexually abused her as a young child.  Her husband was [and remains] very supportive, which is far more than I can say for many of the relatives and neighbors.

Through the Becks' excursions into parenthood and their awakening self-awareness, first John and then Martha each make a decision that alters their lives permanently.  In deciding that to keep silent for the sake of the L.D.S. is spiritual death, the couple find a new way of being.

sapphoq reviews says:  As evidenced by the reviews on one book site, active Mormons without any misgivings about their religion are bound to despise Leaving the Saints.  Those who secretly or not so secretly harbor doubts will do well to read this book.  Atheists may or may not find the mystical talk to be more than they can chew.  Born again Christians will most likely object to the Becks not having found "the one true Jesus."  Folks like me who are curious about the question of how much abuse does exist among the brethren in Utah are bound to find some disquieting-- even if only anecdotal-- answers in this book.  Highly recommended to atheists who can tolerate some generic god-talk.  Also highly recommended to those who are curious about the Mormons and to readers who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse.    

No comments: