cover image Bad Mormon: A Memoir

Bad Mormon: A Memoir

Heather Gay. Gallery, $28.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-982-19953-1

In this spicy debut, Gay, a fan favorite on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, recounts her life and how it was changed by being cast in the reality show. Born in Carmel, Calif., to devout Mormon parents, Gay moved with her family to Utah before her freshman year at Brigham Young University. For most of her adulthood, Gay writes, she didn’t question her faith, but after her decades-long marriage ended in divorce, she felt isolated from her community and realized how Mormonism encouraged its followers to “suffer silently.” When Gay was asked to join the Real Housewives franchise, though, it was a “rebirth”: “For the first time in my life, someone wanted me for all that I brought to the table.” By the show’s second season, Gay had left the church and formed bonds with new friends and supporters. Gay’s narrative is by turns cheeky (“In the name of the Father, the Son, and Andy Cohen”) and reflective (“There is real sorrow for the lost years and a general heaviness that weighs on my heart when I think of the past”), and even when discussing her struggles, she writes with self-deprecating humor. Real Housewives disciples will relish these unfiltered revelations. Agent: Steve Troha, Folio Literary. (Feb.)