The Friday Gospels by Jenn Ashworth
A most intriguing storyline set in an off-beat environment. Jenn Ashworth gives a compelling insight into the minds of 5 different members of one family. The background culture, for most people unfamiliar, of a Mormon community, has a strange way of tricking the reader into believing to see reasons for behaviour patterns and quite gently destroying this idea again. It could have happened anywhere, or could it?
It’s a gem of a novel, the kind of book that makes you feel that you have done something very worthwhile with your time.
The story focuses on one Friday in a family of Lancastrian Mormons. They are expecting the return of their son Gary from his deployment as a missionary. It is supposed to become the perfect family event. However, nothing works to plan. In turn, parents and offspring share their thoughts with the reader. Teenager Jeannie doesn’t find her life easy at all; the oldest son, Julian, can’t fit in and dreams of odd escape routes; Martin, the father, seems to have lost his ways; and ‘golden boy’ Gary isn’t very sure of himself at all. The day moves on and nothing becomes easier. Is hell going to break loose amongst Latter Day Saints? Lots of black humour and surprising side effects from the Mormon way of life create an arresting tale of human unpredictabilities.