“Utah Expectations” by Michael Wojciechowski

I found this to be a rather entertaining and educational read.  I do, however, agree with a couple of the other reviews, in that the use of the vulgarity in the book did not add to the story, and, in fact, was a distraction.  It seemed the author just found it necessary to insert a word or phrase here and there in the dialog, and worked them in as needed.

I found this to be a fairly believable tale.  I am not a Mormon, but have been a student of the church for a number of years.  I don’t prescribe to the teachings or beliefs of the church, but I do find their history to be fascinating, and an important part in America’s westward expansion.

A story of two Mormon brothers, aged 21 and 19.  I really try to not include any spoilers in my reviews, so my commentary about the story will be rather generic.  These brothers are coming of age and dealing with the community’s expectations of them serving two years as Mormon missionaries.  The bulk of the story is about the younger brother, and all his trials and tribulations as he prepares for his own mission to Chile.  

There are discussions by both brothers as they question not only their own beliefs, but the status of the LDS church, the self-proclaimed “only true church”.  Major side stories involve a religiously fanatical mother, each of the brother’s girlfriends, and the brothers’ journeys from typical died in the wool Mormon young men, to their own spiritual awakening, and the impact of those journeys on others.

The story moved along quite well, but I was disappointed at a relatively anti-climactic ending.  The fate of the major characters left me hanging and wanting answers as to what happened to them.

I’ve read a number of books about Mormonism over the years.  I have had missionaries visit my home, and from my experiences and exposure, the story fairly well portrayed what young missionaries do in the field.  

Like I said from the outset, the book was entertaining and enjoyable.  I do warn that explicit language is part of the storyline and the reader should be prepared.  Because I’ve read numerous books considered both “pro-Mormon” and “anti-Mormon”.  I found this story to be of average literary quality.  Its one of those “I could either take it or leave it” type reads.

I received a copy of this book at no cost as an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I have no personal, professional, or financial ties to or expectations from the author or publisher.  This review may also be found on Goodreads.com, and my blog: BookReviewsByJon.Wordpress.com.  Thank you.

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