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Secret Ceremonies Mass Market Paperback – March 5, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Laake's heartfelt account of her strict Mormon upbringing and two disastrous Mormon marriages includes new material. Literary Guild selection in cloth.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A candid, often startling memoir of the author's life as a Mormon wife. Though Laake is now a professional journalist, she was raised in a Mormon family and sent to Brigham Young University with one paramount aim: to find and marry ``a faithful Mormon man.'' Without such a marriage, plus the guidance that only a devout husband could provide, she would ``be denied access to the highest level of Mormon heaven''--just one of the many unusual aspects of the emphatically patriarchal religion that Laake reveals here. Moreover, the author intended to wed not any man but ``the One''- -the marriage partner predestined by God--and when she began to doubt that one narrow-minded but extraordinarily persistent suitor, Monty Brown, was the One, Monty and Laake's own brother rushed to her side to exorcise ``the devil'' that had invaded her soul. Laake married Monty in an arcane ceremony whose esoteric details are zestfully described here; pledged to wear ``garments'' (a kind of sanctified nightgown) for the rest of her life; and began what most Americans would consider a bizarre life that included the recycling of condoms through vigorous washing. Within nine months, the naturally free-spirited author asked for a divorce and began--under the close (and, by her account, sexually obsessed) scrutiny of male church authorities--a painful odyssey of self-liberation that included two further marriages, two nervous breakdowns with hospitalization, and the slow recognition of her worth as a woman. Throughout, Laake tends toward emotionally colored, often awkward, writing (``on her first engagement: ``Soon we had created a huge, gay, snowballing ritual of congratulations that sometimes shouted down my fears'') that admirably avoids rancor but that evinces few good words for the church (``the hollow moan of dogma'') she's left behind. By no means objective, then, but, still, an affectingly personal look into the well-guarded citadel of Mormondom. (First serial to Cosmopolitan) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The book is written in first hand experience of Deborah Laake's journey from innocents in the Mormon culture to awareness of how the Mormon culture is really ridged against women.
I was loaned this book by a friend who wanted to help me understand why I was treated as I was on the job. Although I am not Mormon it still applied to me working because I was working male dominated Mormon workforce. After reading this book everything made sense. Unfortunately, having awareness does not correct the very ingrained Mormon culture which suppresses women and elevates men to the level of Gods.
What I really like about the book is that Deborah isn't hateful or mean as she writes. She simply writes from the heart and exposed just how painful her journey was. I have many friends who are Mormon and they are truly good people. However, Mormonism is their core beliefs and it is impossible for them not to bring their beliefs and culture into the company.