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Publisher's Summary

Secret Ceremonies is the story of the awakening of Deborah Laake. A devout Mormon, she attended Brigham Young University, received good grades, was popular - but most of all, she found the One, the man who declared that his claim to her was a matter of divine revelation. Thus, while still in her teens she was married in the sacred chambers of a Mormon temple.

From there her life began to disintegrate. Divorced by age 20 from a man she never loved, barred from the Mormon temple and threatened with excommunication, she found her depression deepening. Still trying to live up to the church's expectations, she married again, unaware that the resulting mental illness would propel her into a hospital ward of unabashed psychotics. It was there, among the truly unconventional, that she somehow recognized a modern world beckoning to her from beyond the closed patriarchal society that had always sheltered her yet kept her from true maturity.

©1994 Deborah Laake; (P)2009 Phoenix

Critic Reviews

"A candid, often startling memoir of the author's life as a Mormon wife....an affectingly personal look into the well-guarded citadel of Mormondom." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Short and Entertaining

The first part of the book covers the authors life dealing with her Mormon beliefs. That part was interesting and insightful into the Mormon beliefs and religion. As the book continues I realized that the author, although likeable, is really troubled beyond her religion. It was an entertaining listen in a soap opera way, but not the sort of book that I would generally read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Well-written; not what I expected

The story of the author is interesting. I felt like the title was a bit misleading. There was not as much about the religion as I expected. This was more of a biography. Performance was very good, I just started to lose interest in the story about halfway through.

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Nonacceptance of dogma

Beautiful, authentic experience of a woman questioning her circumstances. Inspiration for everyone questioning an authority in their lives.

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Blame

I wish the narrator had made an effort to pronounce words correctly. Additionally, it appears the author wishes to blame the LDS Church for her own family disfunction. Seriously a father buying condoms and giving washing instructions? I would guess the church was not the contributing factor to her emotional struggles.

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Not what I expected.

this is more a sad life story than the story of the "secret Ceremonies".

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Unique exit story

Very well written bio from someone escaping an oppressive society/religion. Because this woman's experience happened largely before the LDS (Mormon) church updated many of its more extreme viewpoints and doctrines, it's gives a unique perspective and explanation of the more sexist and patriarchal generation that the current generation of liberal leaning Mormons and non Mormons are battling today.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful