We read...

To know we are not alone. ~C.S. Lewis~

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

[review[7].jpg] 514 pages
Genre: Family Saga/whodunit/religion
Tone: factual/historical
Rating: VPI
Fav lines: We were something else – a cult, a cowboy theocracy, a little slice of Saudi America. p8

First Line: In the one year since I renounced my Mormon faith, and set out to tell the nation the truth about American polygamy, many people have wondered why I ever agreed to become a plural wife.

Synopsis: Interweaves dual stories of a nineteenth wife; one, Ann Eliza Young in 1875, who sets about divorcing her husband and de-bunking the practice of polygamy; and two, BeckyLyn a current-day 19th wife accused of killing her husband who must be rescued by her estranged son, Jordan Scott.

What do I think?: This is a book about families and the pressures we put on each other which of course are compounded for the polygamous family. I was very interested to see how the women in a multiple marriage cope and it has to be said that this story shows both he good and the bad (although perhaps not with equal measure). It’s not what you think, it’s not all LDS bashing in fact one of the aspects I really enjoyed was the focus on faithful people living out their lives according to their beliefs even when the rest of the world can’t understand or doesn’t agree.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s not at all sordid, the voracious way women are ‘consumed’ and then discarded by a few men in positions of power is subtly handled with lots of spaces in the text for the reader to fill in themselves…nice.

Overall I enjoyed both storylines although Ann Eliza gets a bit dry at times. Polygamy is an interesting subject deftly given life in this book, I’d recommend it if you’re interested in the different ways people live their lives.


Marlene Detierro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marlene Detierro said...

I have never read a nearly 600 page book in just four days, but that is just what I did with this book. I felt a very emotional connection to this book and it's characters and I hope to read more from this author.

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