When Nicole Hardy's eye-opening "Modern Love" column appeared in the New York Times, the response from readers was overwhelming. Hardy's essay, which exposed the conflict between being true to herself as a woman and remaining true to her Mormon faith, struck a chord with women coast-to-coast.
Now in her funny, intimate, and thoughtful memoir, Nicole Hardy explores how she came, at the age of thirty-five, to a crossroads regarding her faith and her identity. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Nicole had held absolute conviction in her Mormon faith during her childhood and throughout her twenties. But as she aged out of the Church's "singles ward" and entered her thirties, she struggled to merge the life she envisioned for herself with the one the Church prescribed, wherein all women are called to be mothers and the role of homemaker is the emphatic ideal.
Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin chronicles the extraordinary lengths Nicole went to in an attempt to reconcile her human needs with her spiritual life--flying across the country for dates with LDS men, taking up salsa dancing as a source for physical contact, even moving to Grand Cayman, where the ocean and scuba diving provided some solace. But neither secular pursuits nor LDS guidance could help Nicole prepare for the dilemma she would eventually face: a crisis of faith that caused her to question everything she'd grown up believing.
In the tradition of the memoirs Devotion and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin is a mesmerizing and wholly relatable account of one woman's hard-won mission to find love, acceptance, and happiness--on her own terms.
In this captivating memoir, poet and essayist Hardy recounts her efforts to reconcile the tenets of her Mormon upbringing with her evolving personal identity. She decides to leave the church at age 35, having long questioned the rules it prescribes for women. Taking stock of her life in her mid-20s, Hardy writes, All six of my best college friends are married. My brother is married. Every Mormon girl in my high school class, and probably two or three below me, is married. As she wrestles with her sexuality, religious choices, and the search for a husband, she also travels, takes up salsa dancing, moves to Grand Cayman island, and falls in love with scuba diving. Hardy is ambivalent toward having children an ambivalence that is nearly unheard of in the church. I ve never met an LDS woman who has chosen to be childless, the same way I ve never met an LDS woman who has chosen not to marry. Hardy also pursues her love of writing by obtaining an M.F.A. from Bennington. Her memoir is a candid, insightful account of her struggle to find peace with herself.
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Confessions of a latter day virgin
I LOVED this book. Honest and funny I felt like I was right next to her in every scene, experiencing it all along with her. While its true that I have my own "former Mormon" story, the crisis of following your true heart or following the "should s" that we all experience in life is the message I took away from this delightful book.