Mormonism is trending these days, thanks to Mitt Romney and the Broadway hit The Book of Mormon—which means Boulder author Barbara Richardson’s new historical novel is dropping at just the right time. Tributary (Torrey House Press, September) tackles the unconventional history of the religion through Clair Martin, a misfit in a mid-1800s Utah Territory frontier town. The book follows Martin’s quiet revolution as she attempts to untangle herself from a religion and culture she finds wanting. Richardson, whose Mormon ancestors settled in the northern Salt Lake Valley, offers a complete portrait of life in the American West by exploring the struggles of a woman living outside the centers of power. Engaging and beautifully written, Tributary is a welcome addition to the current conversation.

In person: Meet Richardson during a reading and Q&A session at the Colfax Avenue location of the Tattered Cover, September 18 at 7:30 p.m.