The Books

Polygamy's Shadow coverFor Maggie Rayner, conditional love and the threat of violence were the lock on the prison of church and family in which she was raised.

Set in the 1950s and 60s on the West Coast of British Columbia, In Polygamy’s Shadow: From a Mormon Childhood to a Life of Choice chronicles Maggie’s personal struggle to keep herself from being devoured by the Mormon church and her parents’ unrelenting loyalty to it. She questions why her family eats food from a garbage dump while her father rises in the church hierarchy and her parents pay tithing on every dollar that comes into the household. She fears for her future when polygamists from Bountiful visit her congregation on the hunt for young brides.

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When Maggie Rayner’s mother gives her the journal her father wrote before she was born, she discovers a man she never knew.

Borrowed Trousers: Diary of a Mormon Missionary draws the reader into the thoughts and feelings of a cowboy from Alberta serving a mission in Texas and Louisiana, from 1937 to 1939. Rich in the culture of place and era, his journal tells the story of living in poverty amid bedbugs and cockroaches, when he can afford lodgings at all.

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