these latter days by laura kalpakian

Publication Date: June 15, 2021

Epub ISBN: 9780997210262
Paperback ISBN: 9780997210255


About the Author

Laura Kalpakian is the author of seventeen works of fiction in both the US, the UK, and abroad. Winner of an NEA fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and the PEN West Award, among others; she also twice won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award. She has served as a regular book critic for both the Miami Herald and the San Jose Mercury News. A native Californian, Laura Kalpakian was educated on both the east and west coasts with a BA and an MA in history. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. You can find more about Laura at her website

Ruth Douglass knows the rules for Mormon women: a woman can be a virgin, a wife, or a widow, and that’s all there is. However, Ruth soon finds herself none of the three. Born into genteel Salt Lake society, she marries Samuel Douglass and is flung into a hardscrabble life in frontier Idaho. Keeping her doubts about men, marriage and God to herself—this is 1890, after all—she sustains her family in a makeshift home. But when Samuel goes mad with religion, Ruth packs up the children and moves west to California. Intent on raising her six children impeccably. Eventually, with the determination of a woman with few choices, she finds the courage to excavate her secret hopes and make a new life for herself. These Latter Days is the story of reconciling what is expected of us with what we do—the ways in which families constrict us, root us, ground us, and at the same time give us the courage for rebellion.



“Laura Kalpakian reconciles the confines of belief with the demands of the heart in this novel of impressive scope and depth. She explores the strengths and weaknesses of those gone before. She touches a responsive chord in a world which seeks a bond with the past to give meaning to these latter days.”


“…a book that lingers in the heart.”


“With its biting wit and ripe, taut imagery, These Latter Days is a painfully funny and perceptive novel about the mavericks we are in our hearts and the faces we present to a world that accepts few deviations from the norm…In plot, action and substance, These Latter Days is a wonderful, absorbing tale…the novel also becomes a fascinating exploration of men and women, of their expectations and demands of one another and of what the world ends up giving them.”

“Kalpakian lays out a choice spread of.. fine-spun phrases and passages that ring true, bite
deep with a dark humor and move our souls to laughter even as we weep.”


“Ruth and her family will get under your skin and leave a lasting impression because
Kalpakian has developed them with love, sensitivity, a sense of irony and a pinch of tragic fatalism.”