Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#19: The 19th Wife (David Ebershoff)

on June 13, 2012

When I first began this fun method of reading for the summer, I was rather unsure of what I would find along the way.  I am very happy to say that I discovered The 19th Wife and enjoyed every minute of it!

Ebershoff’s novel is actually 2 stories in a single novel.  At the end of the 19th century, we follow Ann Eliza – the 19th wife of Brigham Young.  As the LDS Church is in its early years, we explore the role of polygamy and its impact on the wives, children, and community.  Ann Eliza chooses to divorce her “husband” and begins a national campaign to end plural marriage.

The Firsts, a 20th century sect of the LDS, continues to practice polygamy in Utah.  A member of the community of Mesadale, BeckyLyn, has been found guilt of murdering her husband.  BeckyLyn was the 19th wife of an upstanding leader in the Firsts community.  Now it is up to her gay son, Jordan, to return home to Utah — and the community from which he was excommunicated — in order to prove her innocence.

The novel’s combination of historical figures, factual accounts, and extraordinarily conceived characters make it an excellent read that is a cut above!

4.5 out of 5 stars!

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