Read papa married a mormon by John D. Fitzgerald Online


Papa Married a Mormon made its initial appearance in McCall's magazine in 1955 and later became a bestseller for Prentice-Hall and a selection of two book clubs. Mamma's Boarding House and Uncle Will and the Fitzgerald Curse followed soon after, but good luck finding either of them.Born in Price, Utah, in 1907 to a Scandinavian Mormon mother and an Irish Catholic father, hPapa Married a Mormon made its initial appearance in McCall's magazine in 1955 and later became a bestseller for Prentice-Hall and a selection of two book clubs. Mamma's Boarding House and Uncle Will and the Fitzgerald Curse followed soon after, but good luck finding either of them.Born in Price, Utah, in 1907 to a Scandinavian Mormon mother and an Irish Catholic father, he grew up influenced by both cultures. He left Utah behind at age eighteen, working at such varied jobs as playing in a jazz band, working in a bank, and serving as an overseas newspaper correspondent. At the time of his first break into the national literary scene, he was a purchaser for a steel company in California. Fitzgerald began writing Papa Married a Mormon, a family history about his boyhood, to fulfill a promise made to his mother on her death-bed. She implored him to tell the story of those who settled the west. Not so much a story of the Mormons, but of the people themselves – specifically Fitzgerald’s family and members of the Mormon/Gentile community in which they lived.Set in the fictional southern Utah community of Adenville, Fitzgerald creates a nostalgic picture of small town life in early 1900s. The story tells of the conflicts between the Mormons and gentiles within the community, and how leaders on both sides managed to unify the town, despite their differences and animosities. Because many parts of the book are similar in prose to Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn novels, Papa Married a Mormon fits the mold of a Victorian look at an era long gone.Reference: The Promise Is Fulfilled: Literary Aspects of John D. Fitzgerald's Novels, by Audrey M. Godfrey. Retrieved February 11, 2008 from: ...

Title : papa married a mormon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 3923508
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 298 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

papa married a mormon Reviews

  • Bonnie
    2019-04-25 09:09

    This book is John D. Fitzgerald's first and is semiautobiographical. "Papa Married a Mormon" is the first book in a trilogy also including "Uncle Will and the Fitzgerald Curse" and "Mamma's Boarding House." All three are great books. I loved -- loved! -- the ending of "Mamma's Boarding House" and cried and cried. The thing to remember is that this is a fictionalized account of Fitzgerald's life and family and that he sets the story ten to fifteen years before his parents actually got married, he and his siblings were actually born, and so on. The books themselves are clearly nostalgic for "the good old days" -- perhaps when he wrote this book in the early 1950s, Fitzgerald felt alarmed by the breakneck social change and the two World Wars that had occurred in the first half of the twentieth century. He wasn't the only one longing to go back to a supposedly simpler time. All of his books have been very popular, even though many of them are now out of print.Here are some examples of Fitzgerald's fictionalization in action: Katie, Fitzgerald's sister, appears in this trilogy (there is even a photo of her) but not in his later "Great Brain" books. In both this trilogy and the "Great Brain" books, the Fitzgerald family adopts a son, but in this trilogy he is called Ernie and is adopted after being abandoned by his abusive, alcoholic father. In "Me and My Little Brain," Frankie is adopted after his entire family dies in a terrible accident. While in the "Great Brain" books, the entire Fitzgerald family is Catholic, in this trilogy, the dad is Catholic, the Mom is LDS, and most of the kids are Catholic, but one is LDS (read the book to find out who!). I have seen a Web site where some parents tried to take their kids on a trip to Adenville and ended up fictionalizing Adenville even more than Fitzgerald did(, ending up in a ghost town called Adamsville. They fooled only themselves. Adenville is fictional and was probably based on the real city of Price, Utah. So, while his books are somewhat autobiographical, they are also fictionalized. Take them with a grain of salt. Here is an interesting question to ask yourself before you read: What religion does Tom (the Great Brain) choose and why? It's answered in the first book. Also, how is it that Papa is Catholic, but his sister Aunt Cathy and her husband Uncle Mark are Mormon? (Did that never confuse you in the "Great Brain" books?) Finally, although Uncle Will owns a bar and brothel, he finances the LDS mission to Japan for one of the Fitzgerald boys. The boundaries between religions are very fluid here, and you will find that no religion is particularly favored over another, and that people who are ostensibly scoundrels can save the town from a dangerous flood with their good heart and heroic deeds. These books do not deal in absolutes. If you are looking for a feel-good Mormon story where everyone converts to the LDS Church and lives happily ever after, this is the wrong trilogy for you. This trilogy is not part of the "Great Brain" series (though many of the characters are the same) and is not suitable for children. "Uncle Will and the Fitzgerald Curse" in particular has some iffy sexual material -- because Uncle Will is the black sheep of the Fitzgerald family. On the other hand, these books are a monument to tolerance and kindness. "Papa Married a Mormon," "Uncle Will and the Fitzgerald Curse," and "Mamma's Boarding House" are out of print and therefore hard to find, but worth the effort.I would give "Papa Married a Mormon" and "Mamma's Boarding House" PG ratings and "Uncle Will and the Fitzgerald Curse" a PG-13 rating.

  • Alice Gold
    2019-05-05 04:57

    I absolutely LOVED this book. I don't know if I am bias because I am a Mormon, but I think anyone would enjoy this amazing story of an amazing family (written by a family member). This book was well written and so so so interesting. I loved the stories, they made me laugh and cry. I loved the themes of the book: religious tolerance, humanity, love, God is love, family is love, many that were so good! Loved it..wish there was a sequel, but it wouldn't be the same without Tom and Tena. What a way to start out my year in books.

  • Brooke Swift
    2019-05-17 10:09

    I loved this book! I read all of "The Great Brain" books by the same author when I was a kid, but this book was more autobiographical and was written for adults. The basic message is one of love and understanding. It was well written, humorous, and touching.

  • LaRae
    2019-05-14 07:56

    I liked this story because what could have ended up being a story of brokenness and bigotry, was instead a story of love overcoming.

  • Christina
    2019-05-02 06:12

    Finally! A good book after so much mediocrity! I wasn't sure what to expect with this book after picking up what has to be the first edition (1955) from my local library. I was pleasantly surprised by how captivating the story, setting, and characters were. Definitely a worthwhile and accurate glimpse into life in central Utah during the early days of settlement. I appreciated that Fitzgerald did not dodge religious issues or paint the Mormons as always tolerant-- they were persecutors too. If Fitzgerald truly did base his fictional parents on his real ones they were people ahead of their time in terms of acceptance and treatment of those with differences…

  • Jenifer
    2019-05-09 05:06

    I liked this quite a lot. As many reviewers have noted, this book and its two partners-in-trilogy are out of print and as such, hard to get a hold of but worth the effort. If you read and loved the "Great Brain" books as a kid I think this is a must for you as an adult. (Same author) If you like stories of the early frontier and the characters who inhabited and settled it, (like "These is My Words"); If you like stories where the good guys do bad things sometimes and the bad guys often pull through to save the day; If you like stories of humble, hard-working people who live by the morals of love, tolerance and forgiveness, this is for you. Those are the reasons I liked it.

  • Mary Ann
    2019-05-21 05:47

    Oh, nostalgia. I forgot how great of a storyteller this author is. He transports you right back to the "Wild West" and it was such a delight to read. I also loved the way the story was written, about religion and how everyone can be a good Christian, regardless of what religion they belong to. He wrote a very unbiased story about the Mormons in this part of Utah and what they worked for and represented. It was a great story of tolerance and forgiveness. Plus, it was just plain fun. And now, I will delve into the stack of "The Great Brain" books that was also loaned to me. Yippee!

  • Trace
    2019-05-10 03:03

    Mamma Fitzgerald is being added to my list of literary momma's who I count as mentors; and so she is joining the ranks of such 'women as Marmee or Mrs. March, Laddie's mother and, Mother Carey. What an inspiring woman -and she is indeed a real woman - the author's mother...As a child, I ADORED Fitzgerald's Great Brain books. I had a teacher who ADORED them and read them aloud to us with just the perfect inflection in her voice (thank you Mrs. D!!) ...we were CAPTIVATED... I read them over and over in subsequent years... and as an adult I'd completely forgotten how beloved they were to me. Its been a few decades since my last read - but The Great Brain made it onto my 2013 booklist because I know that I want to share it with my son...Anyways, this book explains some of the background for the Great Brain...which in itself is worth the read.... but its so much more... it contains a wonderful history of the west, a beautifully written love story, and of course some Great Brain stories that will make you chuckle! The author has a real down-home, folksy way of telling a story that draws you into his world and leaves you with a cozy,warm feeling but you will also learn a lot and laugh a lot....Their Sunday night ritual sounds like such a heartwarming tradition... if I was a neighbor in that town, I know that I'd be doing whatever I could to get an invitation to their Sunday evening dinner table! It was a beautiful way to bring the different faiths together.. It makes me want to recreate a similar tradition in my own family...Just a really wonderful read... now to track down a copy of the sequel (Mamma's Boarding House) without paying $246 for a used copy (according to Amazon)...

  • Emmi
    2019-05-16 10:16

    Not one I would have picked up on my own, but definitely entertaining. And I love the message of Christlike tolerance and love. Tena is by far the most christlike character I've read in a long time and she inspired me. So much so that I would have given it 5 stars except that I have to disagree slightly with the overall message. I felt that the overall message of the book was that it doesn't matter what religion you are, if you are a good person, you're fine. It made me feel like I was on my mission again where I heard a thousand times that it doesn't matter what church you go to as long as you go to church. I know that we need the saving ordinances of the Gospel only to be found in this church. So by the end of this book I was left with a dull ache for those amazingly good people who are so close and yet still far.A dilemma the book raised in my was the question of whether you can be an ardent, zealous member of a religion and still be tolerant and accepting of others. The most cruel and intolerant people in the book were the most religious, while those who were not practicing members of their religions were the most christlike. Perhaps it is just this authors depiction, but it feels true sometimes. Why do we find it so hard to hate the sin and love the sinner?

  • Danielle
    2019-04-26 03:58

    A fun read. I love the Great Brain series, but this book, written for adults, was much better. Especially because The Great Brain is fiction, based on actual events in the author's life, while this was (I believe) meant to be non-fiction. He does qualify that slightly in the introduction, but on the whole, I believe it's accurate. Anyway, it's fascinating to read about turn-of-the-century Utah, and especially about the divergent religions and backgrounds of the main characters in a small Mormon town. It was a very tidy lesson in the dangers of bigotry and the author makes the point over and over that religions matter less than character. If I ever write the memoirs of my childhood, copying this book's format would be a good way to do it.

  • Cecilia
    2019-05-04 06:01

    This is our 1st ever family Classic. I have never read a story that addresses christian religions in such a great way. We relate to this story in our family. The discussions we had about this family and their experiences have lead us to plan to read it again as a family. Each night we read this out loud as a group we were sad when we had to stop. So many great nuggets of goodness amid difficult situations. Families are complicated. Communities are diverse. I can only hope that my son will be able to write or maybe just remember so many childhood highlights about his papa that married a mormon someday.

  • Angela
    2019-05-09 05:55

    While not a religious book per se, this book was a wonderfully enjoyable view into the lives of those people who settled the Price area of Southern Utah (often a real look into the wild West!), including fun and touching stories and examples of what it truly means to live as a Christian. I laughed and cried and recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of the late 1800's.

  • Richard
    2019-05-02 06:59

    A fascinating depiction of life in Utah before statehood. Many of the individuals that shaped characters within The Great Brain books appear, but they are so differently depicted here (and the delicate political problems faced by both Gentiles and Mormons in this time before statehood is captured so wonderfully).

  • Krisette Spangler
    2019-05-18 07:07

    Excellent, excellent, excellent. Mr. Fitzgerald gives us a glimpse of the settling of Utah. He recounts the story of his father and mother and brings the wild west to life. It has all the elements of a great story; gunfights, love, and the great brain.

  • Leanne
    2019-05-11 02:52

    I read this years ago, and had forgotten it until I ordered a couple of Fitzgerald's Great Brain books recently. It is based on Fitzgerald's life with some fiction thrown in I believe, and I remember being very entertained by it. All my friends should read it!

  • Brian
    2019-04-23 07:01

    I didn't know what to expect from this one, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I was pleased to discover that it was essentially a memoir recounting the author's family history and some elements of Utah State history in general. I like the book's approach to religion and admired the portrayal of the author's parents and the way they worked to build bridges between religious communities. the author was raised in a household with a Catholic dad and a Mormon mom along with Methodist influences, but I thought he treated all religious communities fairly by just depicting the individuals belonging to each, including the agnostic or irreligious members of the "bad part of town".I felt the story was strongest up to the point when his parents were married. It felt like it started to wander quite a bit when he started telling various anecdotes he remembered from childhood, and the writing felt a bit patchy here and there, so that section was a little harder to get through, but it picked up again in the last few chapters, so much so that I stayed up a little past bedtime just to finish it. I'm glad I read it, and I think it would be a good read for all Utahns, all Mormons, and everyone who knows a Mormon.

  • Tatiana
    2019-05-06 08:52

    I'm not sure whether to call this a memoir or a family history or what. I found this biographical book by the author of a series of some of my favorite books in childhood, The Great Brain series, to be delightful. Many of the characters we met in the kids books are here again in real life, plus a few others we haven't learned about before. I loved the story of JD's uncle Will, his father's brother, who was a gunslinger and had made his fortune owning the best saloon in Silverlode. There were many colorful stories about him and his exploits.I really adored the character of Mama, whose courage and convictions, and just her basic goodness are an inspiration to me. She was one of those believers who understood and lived the real gospel, the part about loving others even if they're different from us, and doing what's right even when it will get you shunned or gossiped about in the neighborhood. I just love Mama. Kids and dogs and people everywhere she went loved her, and so do I.The exploits of TD and his great brain were briefly touched on. What is perhaps the true inspiration for the fictional story of Tom figuring out how to run Mr. Standish the mean schoolteacher out of town, Tom's brilliant plot to rid them of their Aunt Cathy (Papa's overly strict and overly literal Catholic sister who came out west to save them from their heathenism), was both funny and touching.Overall, the book was like The Great Brain books, but just with some reality and adult complexity thrown in. There are lots of colorful characters which remind me of Faulkner characters, so real and so outlandish at the same time. They were sad and also funny: the doctor who was seriously determined to drink himself to death, who if you caught him first thing in the morning was a great doctor, but after his first few drinks would ignore any amount of mortal suffering to continue his quest. The adopted brother, not a younger brother for JD whose parents died in a landslide, but rather a brother TD's age, a Huck Finn type whose father was an abusive and neglectful alcoholic who died young, was no less wonderful, and Mama's generosity and loving heart no less impressive than their fictional analogs.All in all, I recommend this book to everyone, especially to those who loved The Great Brain books as kids. It's funny and sad, sweet and true and good.

  • Joy
    2019-05-21 09:09

    A delightful read. I laughed and was entertained from beginning to end.

  • Alanna
    2019-05-04 09:56

    Just finished re-reading this, and can I say how much I love this book? I love all the wild west stories and reading them for the 4th (or 5th?) time was an absolute pleasure.A few things struck me a bit differently now, reading as a grown up with a family of her own-- as much as Mamma is clearly beloved by everyone, and a wonderful example of a good Christian woman, I did sort of wonder how she let everyone just wind up Catholic. I wish she would have fought harder to teach her children her beliefs. (SPOILER: This especially bugs me since Aunt Cathie ended up becoming Mormon!!!! Why didn't everyone just follow her example?!?!?)The dialogue feels a bit wooden at times, and I can't decide if that's just because people used to speak so much more eloquently or if Fitzgerald is just a romantic, but it didn't really bother me. I just worried it might bother other people.But wow, I love this book.

  • Lu
    2019-05-07 03:15

    I never would have read this book had Bridget not recommended it. (I don't particularly enjoy pioneer type books). This is a funny and interesting perspective of living in and around Mormons in the early days of Utah. I love, love, love that this is non-fiction! That Uncle will won a saloon in a game of cards, shacks up with a dance hall girl and is still considered part of the family, well, that's a side of the early days of Utah I haven't heard much about. There are some people in these stories who have amazingly good characters--and others who had not so good characters, but make some mighty changes in their lives. I love how down to earth and non-preachy the style is. It was inspiring to see how other people dealt with issues of tolerance in a typically intolerant society. I hope I would have done as they did.Plus, there are some laugh out loud stories in there too. Thanks Bridget for another spot on recommendation.

  • Kara
    2019-05-12 06:11

    This was a great book! I gave 4 stars instead of 5 because it was a little hard for me to get into in the beginning. I was a little lost in all the back ground history, but as the story unfolded I really enjoyed the funny and almost unbelievable stories. And I thought the ending was really sweet.I was a little leery of reading this book when my mom gave it to me, thinking it was just about Mormon history. But I was pleasantly surprised how the author viewed different religions and the individual people within those religions. The only thing that really bothered me was how the dad always said 'girl' after his wife's name ("Come here, Tena girl"). I know it was meant as a term of endearment, but it seemed a little creepy when this grown man was calling his 17 year old new bride 'girl' all the time. ;/

  • Jessica
    2019-05-05 06:13

    I have heard about this book all of my life, but I had never read it. I found it at the library the other day so I got it. It is the story of a devoted Catholic man who comes to the Utah territory and finds love at first sight with a Mormon girl. There are many obstacles put in his way to marry the object of his desires. He finds a true friend in an unlikely person and then the story unfolds. The story is set in Southern Utah, which is my home so it is extra exciting to read of the different locations and events that happened. I've never heard of many of the places so I'm wondering how much of the book is fiction and how much is truth. I found the heroine of the story a little bit of a weak character, but it was definitely a good read.

  • Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
    2019-05-05 05:06

    My grandmother had this book on her bookshelf and I found it as a teenager. I loved it. It immediately became on of my favorite books, ever, and I was thrilled when she gave it to me. Written by John D. Fitzgerald (of Great Brain fame), it's a somewhat fictionalized family history of his family life growing up in rural Utah. His mother was Mormon and his father Catholic. Neither one ever converted to the others' faith. He tells the story of their courtship and how he and his siblings were raised. The book is full of humorous tales of childhood adventure, tumultous relationships and love and forgiveness. There are stories of conflicts between the Mormons and others, but there is also an underlying thread of how to resolve differences and get along.A terrific read.

  • Swhite
    2019-04-25 07:53

    Someone donated this book to the library and as happens when you work in a library I got first dibs reading this. I didn't realize then how awesome, heartfelt and hilarious this book would be. Definitely a favorite of mine. I selfishly kept it not just because I loved it, but because it was a first edition and deserved to be cared for and preserved in it's fairly good condition. Library books take a beating and while I wanted others to enjoy this book too, I couldn't bear to see it stolen (like i sort of did) or chewed on by a teething toddler. I've been meaning to replace it with another edition but it's hard to find.

  • Wayne
    2019-05-07 09:49

    This is the novel for adults that created the world of "The Great Brain." In this novel the author describes how his parents came to Utah and met. It gives a lot of back story that readers of the Great Brain books would love.I read the book with the expectation that it was a memoir (the library had it in the Biography section), but it is clearly a novel. I look forward to the two sequels, if I can find them. If anybody else is as obsessed with these novels as I am I found a website where someone spent some time trying to research the facts behind the family and the stories.http://www.findingfitzgerald.comRecommended for kids and adults.

  • Melanie
    2019-05-13 04:16

    I loved this!! I am a big fan of authors telling their life story-- what made them into the writer they are. Though not entirely based on true events, John's story was honest, adventurous, and lovely to read. I especially enjoyed the melding of two cultures & religions within the old west. How this family learned from each other while always being true to themselves was so refreshing. I was hesitant to pick it up-- expecting something completely different. I'm glad I didn't pass on this one, I would've missed a great treasure.

  • Richard
    2019-05-08 04:15

    A child reminisces about his family while growing up in Utah in the 1870s-80s. In the style of Cheaper By the Dozen or I Remember Mama, the author tells stories about his parents, relatives and the people he knew. Easy to read. It captures the Wild West in all its politically incorrect (by today's standards)glory. And yet, despite that political incorrectness, people got along or at least respected The Other Guy. To a point. It was a violent place & time. A story of Melting Pot America...where Love & Tolerance ultimately win. I will confess that my eyes misted up a couple of times. Capracorn?

  • Lydia
    2019-05-16 05:09

    This book grabs your attention from the get go but then gets a little long in the middle before finally picking up at the end. I think I would have given it higher points if it had been completely a true read like one....but from looking up on the internet it is more a conglomerate of people and places. It is very realistic and many people/parts are real. Worth the read. And makes me want to re-read the "Great Brain" books. (I must have been in elementary the last time I read them.)

  • Annie
    2019-05-08 05:54

    Category: Book set in your home state (Utah). LOVE this book. This is not the first time I've read it; I first discovered it in high school. Papa (a catholic) marries Mama (a Mormon). It is about their courtship, marriage and subsequent life in southern Utah, raising a family of 4 boys and 1 girl. One of the boys is the biggest wheeler dealer in town and is known as the Great Brain. (JD Fitzgerald also wrote the Great Brain series of children's books). This book is fiction, but based on Fitzgerald's childhood in Price, Utah.

  • Nat
    2019-04-21 02:58

    Thoroughly entertaining "historical biography" of Fitzgerald's family in early Utah territory. Reads like fiction (which some of it probably is, or at least history as modified be repeated retelling in the family for generations). It really shows the rough and tumble features of frontier towns (with entire businesses being lost and won in poker games and people being gunned down a the drop of a hat). Not sure how accurate any of this is, but it makes a great story full of human drama and western frontier lore. Papa (a Catholic - sort of) marrying a Mormon woman adds to the interest.