I think this accurately captures what we all want:
A novel about active Mormons written by an active Mormon is placed before a national audience where it makes a notably broad impact on discourse.
That first half has precedent: Heaven Knows Why!, Saints, The Actor and the Housewife, a number of other big-house and indie titles—the second half, I can’t really think of anything that qualifies. But my memory is short and I’ve missed obvious exceptions to sweeping judgments before, so please note my errors below. (At any rate, certainly no such novel has sold in Da Vinci Code numbers.)
But even were there a dozen such novels, we would still feel like the race is yet being run. The latest person to near the finish line is Mette Ivie Anderson with her novel The Bishop’s Wife.
In the posts I’ve posted am posting will post on this novel, I harbor an undercurrent of hope that she will win. Even though I have my complaints and uncertainties regarding minor aspects of the book, I think this is a terrific novel in terms of representing What Am Mormon. Besides, unlike much of the competition, Harrison’s novel is backed up by a serious marketing campaign.
If The Bishop’s Wife is a hit, what sort of conversations might you have with the folks at the rec center?
Well, for sure you’ll have opportunities to send them to Segullah and fMh because suddenly they’ll have a sense that Mormon women are ethereal, by which I mean they manage to be everywhere without taking up any space. And they’ll want to discuss how we manage such a system and they’ll probably have opinions about how it should be [verb]ed. However, you might not be able to guess the verb they have in mind.
But you know what? The book came out three days ago. This no longer needs to be hypothetical. Read it and talk about it. And ask yourself: how will you feel if she does win this race?
more posts on The Bishop’s Wife