Praise from Viga Boland,
author of the award-winning
No Tears for My Father
So it is that we feel nothing short of honored, grateful, and a bit relieved that, yesterday, Ms. Boland wrote a positive review of “It’s Not About the Sex” My Ass.
“I’ll be honest,” writes Ms. Boland, “I was drawn to this book by its outrageous title ... As someone who has herself written a memoir on a very serious subject, I just had to see how one could write ‘funny’ about something sad. Joanne Hanks had me turning pages in no time. Her opening chapter was riveting. She was laughing and I laughed with her ...”
Enough with the excerpts. Below is Ms. Boland’s kind review in its entirety. If you’d rather read it on Amazon, click here.
What a clever writer
I'll be honest: I was drawn to this book by its outrageous title. It also helped to read a writeup that indicated that the author was taking a humorous approach to a serious subject ... and polygamy justified in the name of religion is pretty serious. As someone who has herself written a memoir on a very serious subject, I just had to see how one could write "funny" about something sad.
Joanne Hanks had me turning pages in no time. Her opening chapter was riveting. She was laughing and I laughed with her, but it didn't take long to realize that what I was laughing at wasn't really funny. I couldn't put the book down as she detailed her life as a wife in a Mormon sect where having the husband take more and more wives guaranteed them both eternal happiness. And amazingly, she was going along with it, asking me to believe she was fine with her husband getting it on with different women each night of the week if it meant eternal salvation for them both. But bit by bit, over the years, as she got older and the "sister wives" got younger and younger, Joanne began to see this practice for what it really was, an excuse for her husband to enjoy himself being fruitful and multiplying to build the cult. “Not about the sex?” Ha!
I don't want to tell you too much more about what happened to Joanne and her husband, their children, their position in the church, but I will tell you that once they broke away, Joanne and hubby became big news in the media. They also got divorced. Why am I not surprised?
Toward the end of the book, Joanne writes “Cults are horrible things. Worse, they make you afraid to trust your common sense. Here is the best protection from charlatans, manipulators, controllers and opportunists I can offer: whenever you find your emotions pulling you toward believing the opposite of what the evidence says, overrule your emotions and trust the evidence. There is no better way to spare yourself the pain of needless, unfortunate decisions.”
Joanne is right. She's also my kind of writer, one who doesn't waste the reader's time, padding the facts with unnecessary detail that doesn't move the story along. Not all of us have time, or even want to analyse characters. Some of us just like an absorbing, quick read that enlightens us to worlds and societies unlike those in which we live. This is what Joanne gives us in this book and she's done it all with humour. How very clever!