Monday, April 6, 2009

The 19th Wife

I used to have a book review blog. But I was pretty sure no one read it so I stopped updating it. But I read all the time. In fact, I think it would be hard for me to function if I didn't always have some book I was reading.

I do most of my reading in the bathtub every night. About an hour's worth. I've read a few long- and heavy!- books lately and holding them up during my baths is sometimes challenging. And annoying. But the book I just finished reading, The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, was so worth it.

Two stories weaved in and out through the book- both about polygamist communities. One, historical fiction, about Brigham Young's 19th wife who became an outcast and went on a crusade to end polygamy in the US. The other, a fictitious modern day story of a murder that takes place in an LDS (Latter-Day Saints) community. Both stories were riveting and I read the 500+ page book in just a few days.

A great book like the 19th Wife leaves you wanting more. Since finishing the book, I've been poking around on YouTube to see interviews with real life LDS members. Oprah interviewed some of the poly-wives from the compound in Eldorado, Texas just last week. Oprah asked lots of good questions and the women answered with their canned answers. She asked if they ever had problems with the other wives. Even though they share a husband with many other women, these ladies say there isn't any jealousy. Uh-huh. Oprah asked the children, "What do you do for fun?" They don't have toys, and they don't know any Disney stories, or even nursery rhymes! Instead, they just work. Super fun. If I was Oprah, I would've asked, "Where are all the men?" Why is their population so women-heavy that one man has so many wives? (By the way, I know the answer. Maybe Oprah does too, and that's why she didn't bother to ask.)

I so highly recommend this book. Although it's considered fiction, it reads like truth and I suspect there is a lot of non-fiction elements to it.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Thanks for the recommendation. We were just talking about this the other day (based on Oprah's show) and now I'm kind of curious.

Now may I recommend the site to you?

You can review books, keep track of what you've read, want to read, and are currently reading, and also keep track of what your friends are reading & their reviews, etc. Let me know if you sign up, and I'll send you my email address separately. :o)