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Bridging Bountiful

From Polygamy to Feminism

Mary Jayne Blackmore

A compelling memoir by the daughter of convicted polygamist Winston Blackmore explores a young woman’s journey from polygamy to feminism and independence.

As the daughter of Mormon leader Winston Blackmore, Mary Jayne Blackmore grew up within the closed-off polygamist community of Bountiful, BC. She spent her younger years riding ponies, raising pet lambs and playing in the hay in the Old Barn, under the constant shadow of religious fanaticism, doomsday preparation and an instilled fear of the world outside of Mormonism. In 2017 her father was charged and convicted of practicing polygamy, splitting the community in two and further inciting the media sensationalism and worldwide criticism that had always surrounded Bountiful. As the world she had always known imploded, Mary Jayne was forced to redefine her faith, family and womanhood for herself.

Today, through her work and her personal exploration of feminism, Mary Jayne is helping to heal a broken community, one that she watched turn from safe and loving to angry, arrogant and resentful. She is also building her own place in the world–as a teacher, mother, writer and educated woman–and she has managed to retain loving bonds with her family, including her father.

From a childhood in an idyllic but sheltered community to early adulthood in an arranged marriage, ensuing divorce, and eventual return to Bountiful, Bridging Bountiful is Mary Jayne’s journey of coming of age and coming to terms with her background as she strives to answer the question: What is the right kind of family, the right kind of woman and the right kind of feminist?