UP HOME by Ardyth Kennelly


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The Peaceable Kingdom established Ardyth Kennelly as an interpreter of the Mormon way of life, their approach to issues that- in this country- had been only theirs- the psychology of women brought up with the Latter Day Saints' conception of plural marriage and woman as in this world for man's convenience and pleasure. Up Home opens with preparation for the ceremony of dedication, the temple to be opened for the first time to others than Church officials and their families. Polygamy had been legally abolished- but what of those families for which one husband was responsible? No longer did the men have to conceal their existence. Local regulations permitted their open recognition and equal division of the father's time and earnings... Linnea wasn't good looking, but to Olaf, the sun rose and set on her and the four children. His visits to Sigrid on alternate nights were necessity, and he made up for his feelings by getting her a better house, an organ, and so on. This is chiefly Linnea's story, Linnea's and her children and her neighbors. And through it the reader is taken inside the Mormon world. There's pathos and humor and warmth of understanding. At times it is overlong, as if she wanted to get everything in, materially and philosophically. The plot is episodic, but one gets interested in the mystery of old Mrs. Troon, who dropped in and stayed for eighteen months; in Myra and whether she wins the gold baby carriage; in poor downtrodden Mrs. Lylygren and mad Mrs. Ryding. The fact that none of the stories is really completely rounded out makes Up Home flash shots of life rather than an orthodox novel. Ran serially in L.H.J.

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 1955
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin