Today was our book club meeting. We discussed The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. I was determined to finish the book before our meeting and I (barely) did.
Here’s the synopsis from barnesandnoble.com:
It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of her family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how both she and her mother became plural wives. Yet soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death. And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love, family, and faith.
It was a very interesting read. Once I got into it, I started wondering how much truth there was to the story. This story is a work of fiction that’s based on some real historical figures. Both the past and present story lines made for interesting discussion. It’s unbelievable that polygamy is still something that happens in our country, that women and children are still living in such situations. The isolation and brain washing that must take place for people to accept this lifestyle as commanded by God is completely unfathomable. One of my book club members watches the HBO show Big Love and was telling us a little about it, and I’m definitely going to have to watch it. This is an interesting topic, sad reality, and I think The 19th Wife is a very well written book.