Thursday, September 10, 2009

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Set in a secretive offshoot of the Mormons that still practices plural marriage, Jordan, a young man expelled as a teenager from his community (he calls it 'Saudi America') for innocently holding hands with a half-sister, returns to Utah to defend his mother. His polygamous father has been found dead in front of his computer, and one of his wives - Jordan's mother - is in jail accused of the crime. In a parallel narrative, Ann Eliza Young, the 19th and final wife of Brigham Young, leader of the Mormon Church in the latter half of the nineteenth century, tells the sensational story of how her parents were drawn into plural marriage and how she herself escaped her powerful husband to lead a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. Bold, shocking and enthralling, The 19th Wife expertly draws together these two narratives to explore how religion can distort love and family, in a page-turning literary mystery.

I don't honestly know why I read these Mormon Polygamy books, a morbid fascination I guess. Because honestly I can not understand why any wife would put up with such nonsense. Okay and honestly I also can't believe the cult-ism that convinces people that they should! And reading about the mind-control by bad-education is just frightening. I think it's all such a lesson in the Power of People and how they can use it for evil to control other people ... although the world really doesn't need more examples of that :P How is there not some shred of logic in these women's minds when their sons are being excommunicated at the age of 15 or so ... hello, it's obviously so your husband can shack up with all the young girls himself and not have any youthful competition. Sigh. People are weird.

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1 comment:

angel said...

People are indeed strange, and when they're swallowed up by a religion they're even stranger!

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