River City Reading

Helping readers of literary, contemporary and historical fiction find their next great book.
Elders: A Novel - Ryan McIlvain Seeing as we're going with a religious theme here, let me start with a confession: I totally judge books by their covers and Elders is a prime example. I think this cover is brilliant.

So, does the novel live up to the cover? It comes pretty close. Elders follows McLeod and Passos, a pair of Mormon missionaries in Brazil. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, the couple is bonded together as they spend their days knocking on unopened doors and hoping to reach their quietly personal goals.

What I thought might be a fiery expose of Mormonism was actually written in a delicate way that is neither accusing nor particularly supportive of the religion, rather it focuses more on the relationship between the Elders themselves. With different languages, backgrounds and cultures, McLeod and Passos have plenty to cause a rift between them. However, it is the different way they approach the Mormon religion and their beliefs that leads to the tension in their partnership.

Though it ended a bit abruptly for my liking, Elders is a unique, carefully written novel that is easy to appreciate and enjoy.

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