Finding Karen: An Ancestral Mystery

Finding Karen: An Ancestral Mystery
Published by Texas Tech University Press
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Finding Karen: An Ancestral Mystery springs from a decade of research into Solomon’s paternal great-great grandmother Karen Sorensen Rasmussen, who converted to Mormonism in Denmark and emigrated to the United States in 1859. Held up to Solomon throughout childhood as an icon of feminine heroism, a stoic handcart immigrant who helped establish Zion in Utah, Karen became equally emblematic of Solomon’s own strong-willed determination and of everything Solomon found lacking in herself. Finding Karen is a revelatory journey, twinned with Solomon’s own in surprising ways. As valuable a study in recovering history as it is in the need to re-examine family stories, Solomon’s retelling takes readers through the twists and turns of discovery/recovery as she encounters them. In doing so, she illuminates not only the risk inherent in trusting even what persists as historic record but also the insights to be gained from assiduous persistence.

What Readers Are Saying

"Thank goodness Dorothy Solomon works to understand the landscape of her life! Making meaning out of the unique intersection between Mormon women’s history and the confines of her life as the daughter of a modern day polygamist, she connects the dots between the campaigns for female suffrage or against the ERA, Joseph Smith’s practice of a plurality of wives and the 1944 raids on fundamentalist Mormons.   Throughout, Dorothy reminds us of the faint line dividing two religious traditions—the FLDS and the LDS—and how both understand gender, difference and the way they organize families." — Martha Bradley-Evans, author Kidnapped From That Land: The Government Raids on the Short Creek Polygamist and Pedestals and Podiums: Utah Women, Religious Authority, and Equal Rights.

189 pages | July 1, 2020