Monday, October 12, 2009

Review -- The 19th Wife


The 19th Wife
by David Ebershoff
Random House, 2008
528 pages

Summary: 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. (From Barnes and Noble website)

Review: David Ebershoff writes an ambitious novel that ties together the fall of polygamy in the late 1800s with a present day mystery of polygamous marriage that ends in murder. The author fully immerses the reader into the history of Ann Eliza as well as the current lifestyles of polygamous cults still active United States. The novel is immensely detailed and can, at times, be a slow read. Still, the end result is an amazing read that should not be missed. Rating: ****1/2 out of 5

3 comments:

Literary Feline said...

I had such a good time while reading this book. Both the historical and modern day stories were intriguing. I am glad you enjoyed this one so much, Jess. Great review!

Diane said...

I have to get to this one soon. I've had it for a while. Great review Jesse

Jen said...

I completely agree with your review, I need to read more of Ebershoff's work since I enjoyed this one so much.