Doug Thayer’s novel, in my opinion, was an honest reflection of the LDS experience. The fact that it was nonfiction helped touch upon different situations of the LDS experience that might not be seen through nonfiction. I say this because I have seen myself reflect upon my own Mormon life through this novel. I found myself reflecting upon my own relationship with my mother and thinking about my parent’s relationship in an LDS context. In the novel, he depicted his parents as having an obvious struggle or conflict. His father, from the perspective of the mother, spent too much time at work. Although this is made clear in the book, Kyle didn't seem too caught up in his parent’s relationship. He wasn't very emotionally invested with his parent’s relationship even though he knew there was conflict there. Despite my own knowledge of familiar conflict, I chose to not be emotionally involved with my own family struggles. While living at home, I avoided conflict between my parents and I didn't want to know the details between them.
Fiction allows a writer to delve into their own personal dilemmas and conflicts without divulging personal problems. Themes can be brought up and talked about appropriately without talking about the harshness of reality. Truths can be told without giving the exact truth. Non-fiction writing does bring a sense of validity and truth. When drawing upon actually life experiences, it enables you to be more vivid and real in your writing. But I feel like a talented writer can add a vivid aspect to fictional writing and at the same time touch upon true and genuine themes and hit home to any honest reader. Doug Thayer was able to do that. Although it was a fictional story, he was able to touch on themes that relate to the honest reader.