Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No Going Back book review

A gay teenage Mormon growing up in western Oregon in 2003. His straight best friend. Their parents. A typical LDS ward, a high-school club about tolerance for gays, and a proposed anti-gay-marriage amendment to the state constitution. In NO GOING BACK, these elements combine in a coming-of-age story about faithfulness and friendship, temptation and redemption, tough choices and conflicting loyalties.

Paul, a Mormon teenager, doesn't try to "cure" himself. He feels he needs the support of his mom, his best friend, his Bishop, and others who may be in his same situation, but he doesn't want to be outed to the rest of the ward or his classmates. He knows that being gay in the church means that the ideal of a temple marriage in this life may lie out of reach for him. He knows that gay sex is forbidden. He wants to live a virtuous life, find acceptance for the person he is, and still have the social life that most teens yearn for. This book is not for the faint of heart. It's a hard one to read in the sense that there aren't easy answers for the challenges Paul goes through. I believe that the book encourages virtuous living by teens, whether gay or straight, with a hard look at the possible consequences should one go looking for comfort in places that are not spiritually healthy.


  1. Wow, I have never read anything like that and it is quite a "sensitive" and harsh issue to tackle!!
    Sounds interesting!
    Thanks for the review!


  2. Thanks for the review! A couple of follow-up questions:

    - You said it was a hard book to read (and I agree). What was your personal reaction to the characters and their situations? Did you find them mostly sympathetic? Realistic?

    - As (I presume) a non-Mormon reading this, book, how approachable did you find it?

    Thanks again!