Introducing Rachel Rueckert’s East Winds—It’s Great!

BCC Press is proud to introduce one of the most remarkable books we have ever seen, much less published. East Winds, by Rachel Rueckert—a memoir, a travel narrative, a cultural tour-de-force, a love story, and a profound meditation on the core meaning of concepts like marriage, commitment, and eternity. And that’s just in Chapter One. This book will knock your socks off (if you wear socks, which you definitely should, especially in November, because it’s getting cold).

East Winds narrates the true story of Rachel and her new husband’s year-long honeymoon trip through South America, Asia, and Europe. During this trip, Rachel studied the marriage customs of every culture they visited in an attempt to understand how human beings view and experience this universal institution. To get a sense of how this book works, and why Rachel needed to write it, take a look at this brief video trailer that she prepared for the launch:

And don’t take our word for it, or even the video. Check out this STARRED REVIEW in Kirkus that calls East Winds an “evocative travelogue and a remarkably sensitive and insightful portrait of the difficulties of modern marriage and the compromises that one makes to feel both autonomy and connection.” And also, “an engrossing exploration of a hard but ultimately exhilarating trek toward love and commitment.” Or check out the phenomenal endorsements from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Phillip LopateGary Shteyngart, Wendy S. Walters, Michael Greenberg, and Allison K. Williams—writers that most of us can only dream about being associated with our books.

And finally, here is our sneak peek at Chapter One. Fair warning: don’t read it unless you are prepared to be seized with an irresistible compulsion to purchase it immediately, wait for it impatiently, and do nothing else with your life until you have finished.


  1. A Poor Wayfaring Stranger says:

    Thank you BCC Press for publishing this book! This book ought to be given to our youth when they advance to YM and YW because they need to understand the complexities of marriage (straight or gay) and to count the cost by knowing the details of what “wedded bliss” actually means and requires from both spouses in order to be successful, beneficial and fulfilling for both of them. I married at age 30 which was and still is considered to be “ancient” in our church. Frankly, I’m grateful that I did what felt right for me rather than succumb to the pressure to any marry earlier because I realize that I was too immature in some ways to have been a good wife and mother at a younger age.

    As a student at BYU the pressure to marry before graduation was immense. If I could have had a dollar for every time I shocked my mother, some relatives, BYU professors and bishops/SPs plus a lot of other people because I categorically stated that my reason for going to BYU was to get an education I’d have become very wealthy very quickly.

    Most of the girls from my YW group in my ward got married before they were 22 and had several children by the time they were pushing 30. Ditto for the other girls from high school and many that I knew in college. They’d succumbed to the pressure that the church puts on women to marry young and to have a lot of children quickly as did my mother and some of my aunts. The only problem was and still is that these women were woefully unprepared for what marriage and motherhood actually entails. The church paints such an unrealistic view of marriage and of parenthood for both men and women that when reality sets in during or after the honeymoon, a reality that they had/have no idea existed and were/are therefore woefully unprepared to face, their marriages often suffered/suffer greatly and sometimes fell/fall apart to the point where they couldn’t/can’t be fixed. Many of the girls that I know/knew who married young often grew resentful or envious of single people like me who’d actually been able to take the necessary time to figure out who we were as unique individuals and to have the necessary time to travel, to broaden our horizons, to have meaningful work and hobbies, to cultivate wonderful relationships with both men and women, and to discover and pursue those unique gifts and talents that God has blessed each of us with. All of these experiences enrich a marriage and having children. Sadly, the majority of the these girls that I knew suddenly abandoned their spouses and children in order to “find themselves” in their 30’s and 40’s. Many have said that they wished that they’d taken their time before pursuing marriage to do the things that would have helped them grow and mature as an individual. Also, a large number of these women also wished that they’d taken much more time to really get to know their spouses and to go to premarital counseling before marrying. Discovering that one’s husband’s attitude toward their relationship was “I’m the Priesthood and you’d better obey me.” while on their honeymoon or shortly afterwards was extremely disillusioning and damaging not only to the relationship but to the woman’s self esteem. Also disillusioning is for the women to discover that they really weren’t/ physically and/or emotionally cut out to be a wife and a mother, let alone to be a mother of several kids.

    I’m only looking at the whole marriage and motherhood thing from my own woman’s perspective. The perspective that men have may be similar or very different than my point of view. The beauty of this book is that it is REAL and forces readers to seriously reflect on what they’ve been taught at home and at church regarding marriage and what it means to become a spouse and a parent. There is no “one size fits all” mentality with regard to these subjects which I find so refreshing considering that so often our church leaders treat members as if they should be photocopies of their own personal ideas of who “the perfect church member” ought to be rather than realizing that each one of us is a unique child of our Heavenly Parents.

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