Friday, December 11, 2015

HIS RIGHT HAND by Mette Ivie Harrison

Mette Ivie Harrison’s His Right Hand seemed to me to be a courageous book.

When you write a widely published book, you put your thoughts out for all to see. If you write about a controversial subject or a sensitive group of people, you take an extra risk.

In His Right Hand, someone murders a member of Mormon Bishop Kurt Wallheim’s Draper, Utah, bishopric council.

The investigation reveals a devastating secret about the victim.

Bishop Wallheim’s wife Linda sets out to help solve the murder. In so doing, she gives a detailed description of the working of the Mormon church.

She also describes the role of women in the church. Linda Wallheim goes way beyond the expected role.

I am being intentionally vague about the plot of this book. The reader should find out for him/herself what the victim’s secret issue is. And the reader should make a way through the ups and downs of the plot.

For me, the religious part of the story was paramount. I saw holes in the overall plotting. I thought Linda Wallheim took liberties I wonder if a Bishop’s wife could (or should) take. But I kept on reading. (In several places, I could hardly stop reading.)

Matte Ivie Harrison seems to be much like her protagonist. She seems to be a faithful Mormon who would expand the role of women in the church. She would also widen the church’s vision. And her plot shows how she feels.

As a person who has written a commercially published book himself, I understand how far and wide an author’s book can go. (Even a book that didn’t sell well, as mine didn’t.)

You receive letters and emails from people who have shared the experience you described and are complimentary. But you certainly hear from others on the other side.

So, I saw His Right Hand as a courageously written book. I applaud Mette Ivie Harrison for writing it. 

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