As the 3rd feature of our Mormon Stories Book Club series (organized by Heather Olson Beal), we feature Jane Barnes and her new book Falling in Love with Joseph Smith,accompanied by the following readers: Rob Lauer, Erin Hill, Cheryl Bruno, John Dehlin, and Dayna Patterson. Please click on the link to purchase your book through Amazon. A small amount of the proceeds go to help support Mormon Stories.
Title: Falling in Love with Joseph Smith Author: Jane Barnes Publisher: Tarcher Genre: Non-fiction Year: 2012 Pages: 304 Binding: Hardcover ISBN-13: 1585429252 Price: $16.85
Book Description from www.amazon.com:
When award-winning documentary film writer Jane Barnes was working on the PBS Frontline/American Experience special series The Mormons, she was surprised to find herself passionately drawn to Joseph Smith. The product of an Episcopalian, “WASPy” family, she couldn’t remember ever having met a Mormon before her work on the series—much less having dallied with the idea of converting to a religion shrouded in controversy. But so it was: She was smitten with a man who claimed to have translated the word of God by peering into the dark of his hat.
In this brilliantly written book, Barnes describes her experiences working on the PBS series as she moved from secular curiosity to the brink of conversion to Mormonism. It all began when she came across Joseph Smith’s early writings. She was delighted to discover how funny and utterly unique he was—and how widely divergent his wild yet profound visions of God were from the Church of Latter-day Saints as we know it today. Her fascination deepened when, much to her surprise, she learned that her eighth cousin Anna Barnes converted to Mormonism in 1833. Through Anna, Barnes follows her family’s close involvement with Smith and the crises caused by his controversial practice of polygamy. Barnes’ unlikely path helps her gain a newfound respect for the innovative American spirit that lies at the heart of Mormonism—and for a religion that is, in many ways, still coming into its own.
An intimate portrait of the man behind one of America’s fastest growing religions, Falling in Love with Joseph Smith offers a surprising and provocative window into the Mormon experience.
Book Club Resources:
- Click here to listen to the Mormon Stories Podcast with author Jane Barnes, John Dehlin, Erin Hill, Dayna Patterson, and Cheryl Bruno
- Reviews of Falling in Love with Joseph Smith
- Podcasts re: the book:
- Other Mormon-themed resources/writings by and about Barnes