I just finished reading Kim Heuston’s The Book of Jude. Loved it. But like her book The Shakeress, I was surprised how richly she portrayed Mormon faith—so true to a Mormon’s experience, possibly so foreign to others.
Are YA readers interested in faith? Especially Mormon faith in a day when all Latter-day Saints seem to be known for is shooting down Proposition 8?
The reason I ask is because I am determined to draw upon my experiences as a 17-year-old traveling with 30 other Mormon families to sites of historic significance to the LDS Church—the grove where Joseph Smith saw God, the city of Nauvoo Joseph Smith established before being murdered. The drama and trials and flirting and crushes that went along with spending a whole month on a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts with 20 other teens is great fodder for fiction.
But will there be an audience?
If you’re out there, Kimberley Heuston, I would love to hear what your non-Mormon readers have to say about your work.
Not that Ms. Heuston is the first one to be forthright with her heartfelt faith in her writing. My writer peep Emily Wing Smith provides pretty straightforward commentary on Mormon culture in The Way He Lived, and Angela Morrison has done the same thing with her debut Taken By Storm.
I appreciate Diane Les Becquets who, in her novel Season of Ice, didn’t ignore the reality of religion and prayer as a normal part of her characters’ lives. (I loved this one too!) But I’m especially intrigued by authors who write about faith as a central conflict and characteristic—while managing to transcend religious boundaries with their readers.
What are your favorite novels that incorporate elements of faith?