Marilyn Brown Novel Award
Every two years, Marilyn Brown author and Co-Founder of Springville's Villa
Playhouse offers this award through the Association of Mormon Letters to encourage quality in
fiction by, for, and about Mormons. In the stiff competition for this year, the five anonymous
AML judges felt gratified to discover a new writer, a woman who has never published before, but
has come to the core of some of the problems that seem to be inherent in "Mormondom."
One critic called the winning manuscript "exactly the kind of LDS literature I had hoped the
contest would uncover and encourage in our culture. We are just beginning to tell the real truth
about our LDS experiences. Here is the riveting voice of an active LDS woman caught inside of
what seems to be, unfortunately, a somewhat familiar-looking patriarchal family relationship. And
it's a knock-out book. Describing step by step what happens inside this progressively suffocating
marriage and its potential destruction to the children, the author is so honest and so graphic that
the reader is hypnotically caught up in the struggle."
The other anonymous judges were also impressed with her work. "It's an amazing achievement. I
don't know when I've felt so immersed in a character's mind, her thoughts, her feelings . . . I
couldn't get this book out of my head. I found myself reevaluating my own life . . . ."
Another judge stated: "I found it more profound and thought-provoking than any of the others
and more to the core of the experience of Mormon women. A fascinating book for me. It portrays
compellingly the life and trials of Laurel, the main character. . . . The narrative enters so much into
her head, that you almost feel the book is being written in first person rather than third. The
author is an excellent writer. . . ."