Responses to the Works of

Marilyn Brown


House on the Sound

“Mesmerizing. A hauntingly beautiful story. Brown’s richly textured prose style is reminiscent of Eudora Welty’s—lyrical, sensuous, evocative. House on the Sound is a literary triumph!”

Sharlee Mullins Glenn
Author of Circle Dance and other works

“Marilyn Brown has given us her best work in this memoir-novel of childhood on Puget Sound from 1940-1944. A good read—funny, scary, lyrical. With memorable characters . . . my favorite is Grandfather McKinsey.”

Bruce W. Jorgensen
Literary Critic contributing to Irreantum, Dialogue and others. Professor of English, BYU

House on the Sound uses the legends and archetypes of danger in the woods to give us a child’s view of two families making war in different ways.”

Harlow Clark
Literary Critic, Dawning of a Brighter Day

The Wine-Dark Sea of Grass

“Well-crafted novel . . . may be among those few works of Mormon fiction we call “classic’ . . .”

Richard Cracroft
Book Columnist, Brigham Young Magazine

“A very sensitive subject handled well. I’m impressed.”

Douglas Thayer
Author of Summer Fire

“. . . best novel about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.”

Lavina Fielding Anderson
Editor for Association of Mormon Letters

“. . . disturbing and profound.”

Tory Anderson
Fiction Editor, Irreantum

“I felt I was at the Mountain Meaows Masdsacre in 1857. Marilyn Brown makes history real and relevant one hundred fifty years after the fact."

Lee Nelson
Author, Storm Testament

“Powerful! I saw how it could really have happened.”

Veda Tebbs Hale
Biographer of Maurine Whipple, Swell Suffering

Ghosts of the Oquirrhs

“. . . a highly original and fascinating story. In Cecily McKinsey and charismatic Brooker Rose, Brown has created her finest and most fully realized characters. Ghosts of the Oquirrhs establishes her securely among the top Rocky Mountain writers of fiction.”

Richard Cracroft
Book Columnist, BYU Magazine

“No one spins a better tale than Marilyn Brown, and few writers have her gift for mining the past and bringing to life some of its deeply buried treasures . . . in language that simultaneously engages and delights.”

Marilyn Arnold
Author of acclaimed memoir, Bittersweet

“Perhaps what I enjoyed most was Marilyn’s beautiful gift of language. The poet is ever evident, but not obtrusive. One of the finest examples of historical fiction from Utah that has been written in recent years.

Sally Taylor
Poet, Professor of English at BYU

Serpent in Paradise

“Wonderful work! A fascinating expansion of Brigham City.

Richard Dutcher
Filmmaker

“In over fifty years of reading, I can think of no LDS fiction writer (except for Orson Scott Card, mostly in a different genre) who has more tirelessly cultivated the invidious, possibly barren and reputedly-mined no-man’s land between “popular’ and “literary” fiction than Marilyn Brown. Until now, the best fruit of her labor (did anyone notice?) has been House on the Sound. In this new book, she invites us to revisit the town and people of Richard Dutcher’s fine film, Brigham City, and to ponder anew the entanglements of light and darkness, the tragic and sacramental risks and deeds, in our efforts to gather and live together, to make and sustain and shelter families and communities.”

Bruce W. Jorgensen
Literary Critic contributing to Irreantum, Dialogue and others. Professor of English, BYU

“Like Thomas Harri’s Francis Dolarhyde in Red Dragon, Terry is a wounded soul who wants to fit in but can only kill. Where Thomas Harris gives us the grand tour of depravity, Marilyn Brown gives us a picture of two wounded people in paradise moving in a dance of death as spare and stylized as a Greek tragedy.”

Harlow Clark
Literary Critic for the Deseret News, Dawning of a Brighter Day.

Fires of Jerusalem

“Jeremiah’s name is synonymous with a long list of evils and social ills. Marilyn Brown captures this all in three words: “Jerusalem was broken.” From that opening sentence Marilyn goes on to give a six-decade portrait of Jeremiah from his first vision at fourteen years old to his hiding sacred artifacts in a hill to his flight from Jerusalem and hiding sacred records in a barrel. In between we see a portrait of Jeremiah as a sometimes reluctant prophet living among dangerous people, and among other prophets, Lehi, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jehu, Zephaniah, Nahum, his Aunt Huldah, the prophetess, and his father Hilkiah, who discovers the lost record of Moses. We see him descending into the valley of the shadow, into the miry pit. We wait for every writer’s nightmare, to watch precious work burn page by page. But Jeremiah comes out of the pit, out of the shadow, and out of the fire come his words.”

Harlow Clark
Literary Critic, Dawning of a Brighter Day

“Marilyn Brown is one of the stalwarts of our ethnocentric fiction, bringing zest, imagination, subtlety and shimmering prose to a genre dominated by cliché. The Fires of Jerusalem is a thoroughly-researched, soul-expanding work which both tells a cracking yarn, and forces the reader to actively explore the meaning of Bible passages which too often we blithely glide by.”

Andrew R. Hall
Associate Professor of History, Kyushu University, Japan

“I wasn’t sure anyone could make an Old Testament prophet, especially one as dour and dishwater dull as Jeremiah, accessible to readers, let alone appealing. Marilyn Brown accomplishes both in Fires of Jerusalem. The thing I like best about this engaging book is how well Brown has done her homework; for all her narrative expansion and psychological imagination, she’s remarkably true to the Biblical text of Jeremiah. And I liked almost as much how thoroughly I was caught up in the drama, captivated by the action of the novel, from the first page.”

Steven Walker
Professor of English: Bible as Literature, BYU

“Delivering some very gripping dramatic scenes, Fires of Jerusalem opens a window on a world most of us don’t know very well, if at all. A stunning achievement.”

Marilyn Arnold
Emeritus Professor of English, BYU, Author of the acclaimed recent memoir Bittersweet, and eight novels, including the national Mayhaven award winner Minding Mama

“Original and exciting. . . with emotion and insight. Parallels with our own time.”

Richard H. Cracroft
BYU Magazine Columnist, Professor Emeritus of English

“I’m impressed . . .”

Daniel Ludlow
Biblical Scholar (1924-2009)

To read these and other reviews of Marilyn Brown's works visit mormonletters.org