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Reviewed by Patsy Glans for Readers' Favorite
In The Mormon Woman by John J. Hart, author Chris Marshall is up to his eyebrows in writing his book about the Mormons and the founder, Joseph Smith, Jr. He is aboard the MS Rotterdam for a one-week cruise to find the peace and quiet he needs to finish his writing. Things take a turn when he meets Julia Michaels, a widow who happens to be a Mormon. They strike up a friendship and when Julia learns what his writing is about, she is up in arms; this is, after all, her religion. She gives Chris the benefit of the doubt and agrees to read his narrative, meanwhile not believing that any of what he wrote is true. Chris points to the research he has done from reliable sources. He isn't trying to turn her away from everything she believes in; he just wants her to open her eyes to the fact that a lot of what she has been taught is based on lies from the founders of the Mormon Church. Will the truth set both Chris and Julia free? Or will the truth force Julia to flee from Chris?
I really enjoyed The Mormon Woman by John J. Hart. The Mormon Church and everything they believe in has fascinated me for a long time. I am surprised, but not shocked, at how easily people can be led to believe everything a ‘man of God’ tells them. The main characters, Chris and Julia, are attracted to each other. As they let each other in, they find a common ground and realize they have something special, but are smart enough not to let their different religious beliefs define who they are. The characters in The Mormon Woman were very believable and the storyline flowed evenly throughout the book. I appreciated the author having the minor characters more in the background while focusing on Chris and Julia; it is less distracting to the reader. I really enjoyed when the book went back to the 1800s and we learned what drove Joseph Smith, Jr. to his death. The Mormon Woman will appeal to a wide range of readers.