Secret Ceremonies

Secret Ceremonies

2.8 6
by Deborah Laake
     
 

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Secret Ceremonies is the story of the awakening of Deborah Laake, who came of age in the early seventies in a manner that would have appeared out-of-step but certainly not tumultuous to an outsider. At a time when her generation was protesting a war and transforming national headlines into a saga of campus violence, she was instead a typical Mormon girl who… See more details below

Overview

Secret Ceremonies is the story of the awakening of Deborah Laake, who came of age in the early seventies in a manner that would have appeared out-of-step but certainly not tumultuous to an outsider. At a time when her generation was protesting a war and transforming national headlines into a saga of campus violence, she was instead a typical Mormon girl who experienced her college years at peaceful Brigham Young University as the fulfillment of all her dreams. She received good grades there, was attractive and popular and devout - but most of all she found The One, the man who declared that his claim to her was a matter of divine revelation. The role of dutiful wife and mother was the one she believed she was made for, and thus she was married in the sacred chambers of a Mormon temple while still in her teens, participating in angel-inspired ceremonies of special handshakes and voodoo of which much of the world is still unaware. From there her life - a picture-perfect one according to the Mormon standards by which she was raised - became an out-of-kilter dream from which she feared she'd never rouse. Her husband was a man whom she had never loved, whom she nonetheless believed God had chosen for her, but with whom she couldn't force herself to remain. Divorced by age twenty, she had failed at marriage, the only task that mattered, and gradually she realized that she was being punished. Barred from the Mormon temple by church authorities, even threatened with excommunication, she found her depression deepening. Trying to live up to the church's expectations of her, she married again, unaware that the result would be a spiral of mental illness that would propel her into a hospital ward of unabashed psychotics, the likes of whom she'd never imagined. There, among the truly unconventional, 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. Always lyrical an

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Laake, raised as a strict Mormon, was taught from childhood that Mormon men were ``priesthood holders'' anointed with the authority to act for God on earth, and that her entrance into heaven could be assured only if she married a Mormon man who would be her master. As a 19-year-old sophomore at Brigham Young University, she became a Mormon wife. Laake's heartfelt record of this disastrous first marriage and the years of struggle that followed is at once autobiography and an expose of the repressive patriarchalism of the Mormon church. After her divorce, for example, Laake found that although her ex-husband retained his religious privileges, she was banned from the temple and condemned by Mormon elders. Torn between her loyalty to herself and to her church's teachings, she plunged into a second Mormon marriage; it, too, failed, and led to a mental breakdown. Laake, now executive managing editor of the New Times magazine chain, writes that she has emerged from her experiences as an independent woman, no longer in thrall to religious dogma. This is a haunting and candid memoir. (Apr.)
Booknews
Silly account of life in the LDS Church and with a couple of rigid Mormon men. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440217800
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/05/1994
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
4.19(w) x 6.74(h) x 1.14(d)

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