INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Named one of Entertainment Tonight’s Best Celebrity Memoirs of 2023
As seen in The New York Times, People, The Cut, Vulture, The Daily Beast, Today, Bustle, Us Weekly, Life & Style, and Interview
“No stone goes unturned” (People) in this memoir about The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Heather Gay’s departure from the Mormon Church, and her unforeseen success in business, television, and single motherhood.
Straight off the slopes and into the spotlight, Heather Gay is famous for speaking the gospel truth. Whether as a businesswoman, mother, or television personality, she is unafraid to blaze a new trail, even if it means losing family, friends, and her community.
Born and bred to be devout, Heather based her life around her faith. She attended Brigham Young University, served a mission in France, and married into Mormon royalty in the temple. But her life as a good Mormon abruptly ended when she lost the marriage and faith that she had once believed would last forever.
With writing that is beautiful, sad, funny, and true, Heather recounts the difficult discovery of the darkness and damage that often exists behind a picture-perfect life, while examining the nuanced relationship between duty to self and duty to God. “An eye-opening firsthand account of religious indoctrination told with candor and sincerity” (Interview magazine), Bad Mormon is an unfiltered look at the religion that broke her heart.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Sassy and sharp without over-the-top messiness, reality TV star Heather Gay is one of the reasons we tune in to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. And as this hilarious, heartfelt memoir proves, there’s real depth to her as well. Raised in a close-knit Mormon family, Gay began to doubt the LDS teachings during her teens, when a church official started asking too many intrusive questions about whether she was having sex. Gay clearly doesn’t take her break from the church lightly, and she’s incredibly candid about how the rift caused by her departure has affected her still-devout family. But like many other memoirs from Real Housewives, there’s also lots of light, frothy fun. Heather seems to genuinely like her castmates (even the one who went to jail for wire fraud). Reading her words feels like hanging out with a friend who is eager to tell you all the details of the situation, making Bad Mormon a fun way to spend a low-pressure day.
In this spicy debut, Gay, a fan favorite on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, recounts her life and how it was changed by being cast in the reality show. Born in Carmel, Calif., to devout Mormon parents, Gay moved with her family to Utah before her freshman year at Brigham Young University. For most of her adulthood, Gay writes, she didn't question her faith, but after her decades-long marriage ended in divorce, she felt isolated from her community and realized how Mormonism encouraged its followers to "suffer silently." When Gay was asked to join the Real Housewives franchise, though, it was a "rebirth": "For the first time in my life, someone wanted me for all that I brought to the table." By the show's second season, Gay had left the church and formed bonds with new friends and supporters. Gay's narrative is by turns cheeky ("In the name of the Father, the Son, and Andy Cohen") and reflective ("There is real sorrow for the lost years and a general heaviness that weighs on my heart when I think of the past"), and even when discussing her struggles, she writes with self-deprecating humor. Real Housewives disciples will relish these unfiltered revelations.
This is all so true. Have family who have done the same thing. Very sad.
Easy and Fascinating
It has been fun getting to ‘know’ Heather not only through BravoTV, but through this written word. The SLC religious world has always been a little mysterious, and hearing this take on an evaluation and exit from such a community is interesting. As always, want to know more!
She has a great story about her life in Mormonism and getting out. That said, she must have been a nightmare of a wife to deal with. I feel bad for Billy. She changed the locks while he still paid for the house? Talk about an entitled gold digger