Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review #44: The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Title: The 19th Wife

Author: David Ebershoff
Format: Advanced Reading Copy
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6397-0

Rating: 9/10

February Book Club selection

My Review and Description:

I finished this book a few weeks ago actually but because of the circumstances of my life, the review is not being written until now. Strange that it is Ash Wednesday and I am writing a review about a very complex book all about views on religion and faith.

The 19th Wife sat on my shelf for many years actually. I had received an ARC of it and sat on it. I have always been fascinated with the Mormon faith and lifestyle and really the only reason I had not gotten to it earlier was simply because of its size. It's super chunk, you could say.

But everyone in my life who has read it said it was completely readable and fast paced. So I dove in. It was refreshing really taking a book off my own shelves to read, just to read. I admit I had fallen into a review craze of my own doing for January that I had been overlooking the awesome books that I had owned for years.

With that said, I jumped into a pretty hefty read. The 19th Wife tells two stories side by side. One story tells of Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, one of most prolific founders of the Mormon Church. Her story tells of her upbringing when plural marriage became the norm for families. As a grown woman and after she becomes Brigham's bride, she sets out to get rid of this practice of wedding many wives. Her story is a powerful one; full of misguided faith, longing, betrayal, greed and sadness.

The other story line tells of a modern day polygamist family; father shot dead, his current 19th wife convicted, their gay son left to solve the crime. This also was filled with heightened emotion and the politics of the current Mormon family.

The writing is detailed and exquisite and rich with history. The author utilized a lot of research to tell Ann's story but still leaves enough room for his own imagination and expansion.

I highly recommend this book for a book club selection because it gives you so much to discuss, whether you find yourself "faithful" or not. It was my choice for our November pick and unfortunately I have to wait until next month to see what people thought of it due to me missing book club this month.

Check out the website for more info. The 19th Wife.

Happy Reading!

red headed book child


Jenny said...

Sounds very interesting!!

Julie@My5monkeys said...

oh I just added another book to read.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Not my deal but I love your review :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Cooking Up Murder looks ADORABLE!
I'm off to add it to my TBR pile :)
Thanks for featuring it in your side bar :)

Jennifer said...

I have this in my TBR and I'm really looking forward to it. It looks like an interesting read.

You have an award waiting for you!!!


Lisa said...

This one's been making the rounds in my book club. I've passing it up but I guess I'd better grab it the next time it comes back.