No Going Back

A novel by Jonathan Langford

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"A heartfelt tale of what it means to be a fifteen-year-old Mormon boy who wants to do what is right but must face the terrifying fact that he is gay."
—Gerald Argetsinger, associate professor of performing arts, Rochester Institute of Technology; former artistic director of the LDS Church's Hill Cumorah Pageant

A gay teenage Mormon growing up in western Oregon in 2003. His straight best friend. Their parents. A typical LDS ward, a high-school club about tolerance for gays, and a proposed anti-gay-marriage amendment to the state constitution. In No Going Back, these elements combine in a coming-of-age story about faithfulness and friendship, temptation and redemption, tough choices and conflicting loyalties.

"By telling the story simply, tying it to a particular time and place, and focusing on the teenage protagonists, Langford is able to confine the discussion of this issue to a manageable narrative—and a compelling one. The approach Langford takes is genius. I love the way he threads the middle of American Mormon mores, doctrine, and practice in a way that is in some senses mundane—this is basically a domestic drama—but also incredibly radical.

"These teenagers act like teenagers, even though they are basically good kids. Any discussion of same-sex attraction makes a lot of Mormons uncomfortable. But the novel is thoroughly orthodox. Its characters are orthodox Mormons. Its tensions and ultimate solutions and resolutions are firmly rooted in active LDS life—prayer, scripture study, repentance, the priesthood, love, charity, hope, the family."
—William Morris, founder of the Mormon arts and culture blog A Motley Vision

Trade paperback
312 pages
ISBN 978-0-9787971-9-5

 

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