Any time we write, paint, sculpt, or use any medium to portray actual life, it will not be an exact replica. There is no way to translate every nuance and detail into the art. This is the case with fiction and nonfiction, one may try to be as genuine as possible but there will often be something missing. Nevertheless, a writer does not need the exact words or the very emotions to convey his/her message. Using the magic of imagination, an author can allow the readers an experience, which can be better than actual life.
In Douglas Thayer’s novel Will Wonders Never Cease the author portrays a family with a teenage son. Contrary to the typical Mormon stereotypes the son; Kyle has not embraced the life that his family or his mother especially promotes. Since this novel is fiction, Thayer could explore the doubts and fears of a teenage boy in the church without the burden of it being a true story.
I think sometimes we handle hard topics better when they are set in a fictional setting, instead of taking things so seriously we can empathize and allow the characters to grow without judgment. Often authors do not want to share all the difficult true stuff because they do not want to be judged. The next best thing is to make up a character and give him the experiences or background that need to be shared. So that through fiction authors are able to be more authentic with their thoughts and characters than with perhaps a nonfiction story.
This type of literature is very refreshing as we watch Kyle change from a boy that is not sure about much to a young man that has faced death and has come back with strong beliefs. It is serious but with a touch of humor that keeps a reader going.
I believe that the audience for such a novel benefits from the authenticity that the author gives to the characters and also the situation. Although the circumstances that Kyle overcomes are very extraordinary, it takes nothing away from the believability.