As an outsider, it's often easy to make assumptions about a religion's morality and values. But looking beyond the inflamatory language that the author resorts to in certain areas of the book (indicating his biases), I found this book to be quite insightful and informative about the history behind the LDS and FLDS faiths, as well as the geographical and logistical aspects of their beliefs/practices. It is very evident that the author has done extensive research for this book, and does a good job providing historical background information to shed light on present practices/situations. From my own protestant christian upbringing, I had a very limited perspective/understanding of the LDS faith, and I think this book helped to clarify many points. I found other areas of the book quite disturbing and struggled to keep in mind that the actions of individuals within a religion do not necessarily reflect the morals of the whole. Written as a scholarly approach toward something like religion (which is ultimately "irrationally" based), I think the author does a pretty good job trying to be informative rather than judgemental. The one downfall of the audiobook is that it does not include the bibliography, footnotes, and appendecis that are contained in the hard-copy. Included in these was a letter from the head of the LDS with their assessment of the book, and a then a counter response from the author with clarifications/corrections and closing arguments.
I'll admit that I was reluctant to jump on the bandwaggon with this series after it spread like a crazed fashion trend through my various circles of friends. As someone who has little time for reading, why would I waste it on something like a teen romance? So I instead watched the Twilight movie out of curiosity. Hooked on the chemistry between the characters on screen, but knowing the movie lacked the vivid character details I could find in a book, I decided I would actually "read" New Moon. I found myself completely enthralled by the storyline and tormentuous emotions of this modern day Romeo & Julliet. Though I think the author perhaps dwelled a bit too much on Bella's monotonous suffering, I liked the eventual (albeit slow) progression with the development of the healing friendship with Jacob and the suspensful tension that builds between them. The narrator of these books is an absolutely perfect fit. Ilyana does a fantastic job embodying Bella's personality and the various interactions between the characters. I honestly think that her narration brings the book to life in a way that wouldn't be possible through my own reading of the hard-copy. It was definitely worth the two credits for the audiobook, and now I'm too hooked to stop until I've finished the series.
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