Under the Banner of Heaven
By Jon Krakauer
Review by Rebecca Hoetger
For non-fiction, this book captivated me right from the very beginning. The title! This is the true story of the double murder of Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month old daughter, Erica, at the hands of Ron and Dan Lafferty (the older brothers of Brenda’s husband). I would have liked more information on the actual Lafferty case; that being said, Krakauer does an amazing job relating the gruesome details that we have.
Because this is a story of religion and crime, a necessary amount of information on the origin and early history of Mormonism is related to the reader and it was interesting to get this background on the early days of Mormonism, being of the LDS faith myself. I must admit, I was worried Krakauer wouldn’t specify a distinction between the LDS faith and the various sects that broke off from it, but he is a true reporter and details the division and enmity with precision and compassion. I especially liked his Author’s Note at the end, which described why he wanted to write this book and why he was so drawn to this tragedy.
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About the reviewer: Rebecca is an Office Administrative Professional and also an avid reader. Spanning fiction, history, classics, and YA, her bookcase has really grown over the years, and she is never caught without a book, eBook or audiobook. (You never know when you’ll get an extra few minutes to read!) She enjoyed participating in our 50th anniversary book challenge because I was led to read some really great books!