This entertaining book will be of particular interest to those who have been faced with homosexuality and also the strong desire to be a worthy Latter-day Saint or to those who wish to better understand such a person. This is a story of a young man who realizes he is gay, but relies on the promises made by Mormon Church leaders that through faith and service to the church he can change and have "normal" feelings. He serves as a missionary in Colombia and finds that change does not come about and change is not what he really wants after all.
A couple passages were a bit graphic by past standards, but not out of line in this day of greater candor in literary expression. The sex scenes described are an integral part of the story.
Jeff Laver is a good storyteller and produced a very readable book. I particularly enjoyed his mastery of the Mormon language, his depiction of missionary life and his descriptions of a gay man's feelings and emotions. This novella is 53 pages and easy to read in one day. Read more
Always in sight of each other — 24/7 — except while showering or on the toilet: It’s hard to imagine a more intimate relationship than that of Mormon missionary companions.
In some ways a mission is training for a Mormon-style marriage: The two companions are expected to love each other with a pure, spiritual love, they have a clear command hierarchy within their partnership, and they cooperate and work together for the gospel. Practically the only bit that’s missing is the sex — missionary companions are required to share a bedroom, but not share a bed. So when a missionary feels romantic love towards his companion, the emotional bond they are encouraged to share can be a beautiful thing, even though it presents special challenges when it comes to keeping one’s thoughts and actions chaste.
In Elder Peterson’s case, his first missionary companion when he arrives in Colombia is a guy he’d had a crush on back in High School in Salt Lake City. Their companionship gets off to a bit of a rocky start since Elder Peterson was among the first batch of new missionaries to get some of the more intensive training that missionaries started getting in the early 70′s. Elder Peterson’s companion was his trainer — the assigned leader of the pair — and Elder Peterson wanted to be able to look up to him as a role model who would lead them to be the most faithful and diligent missionaries they could possibly be. His companion wasn’t really up to the pressure and kind of preferred the earlier-style, more laid-back rules. I’ll let you read for yourself where the relationship went from there. Read more