The 19th Wife
Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain.
Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff’s The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, pr...more
There are two 19th wives. One is the real historical figure Ann Eliza Webb Young, married to Brigham. She was his 19th wife (on some lists - depending on the criteria). When she became disaffected and left the marr...more
This is not young adult fiction but to me, since I've recently read a few young adult books and they seem to be getting more ambitious and since Jordan's first person narrative is sooooo t...more
The book club was very excited to ask difficult questions in a setting that was not offensive. I foun...more
This is a combination history of/multiple story line about the Mormon church and the split between the regular church and the minority within the church which became the "Saints" who wholly believe in the right/commandment of polygamy, otherwise known as "celestial marriage". It is a fascinating read that could have kept going as far as I'm co...more
I first heard about this book on NPR. Serendipitously the author was visiting Pasadena (where he is from) when I was on an extended trip there. I was fortunate to be able to attend his rea...more
It's a great story, really two, one historical, about a gutsy and smart woman who was Brigham Young's 19th wife and the other story contemporary, about a young man who has returned to the compound of the Firsts where he was raised wh...more
My main grief was in the long-winded style of the 19th century characters, but I had other problems with this part of the book. Several "authors" were used to tell this antiquated story, a device I found distracting. I kn...more
1- Despite the fact that it's historical FICTION many parts of the book are written as "documents" which gives it's authenticity a very convincing feel. It made me want to verify and...more
Some have complained that it was confusing, I thought it was EASY to follow along and figure out who's voice was speaking---either from chapter title or topic of concern.
Others complained because one of the characters...more
I've noticed a few reviews that have panned the novel for religious reasons or because of differences over the intersection between fiction and nonfiction, but neither issue affected me. The foul language and the gay relationships in one of the plot lines didn't distract me either. I was surprised to read complaints. The language suits the characters. The focal character's sexual orientation was just an aspect of his character and was not something the author emphasized. I thought it w...more
At the beginning, I was more interested in the murder story, expecting it to be the more engaging of the two. But I quickly found Ann Eliza's story fascinating, and the contemporary story a distraction....more
I was raised Mormon and the orthodox history included comports with my memory; although it is common for people who leave to do so, I didn't research the non-orthodox versions of Mormon history after leaving the religion but based on random things I've r...more
Several years later she was basically abandoned by her husband. Though she was called wife number nineteen...more
Jordan has been estranged from his parents for many years, but he still knows deep inside that despite her arrest, his mother didnt kill his father. He returns to his home town to try and uncover the truth about the murder - returning to a community that deserted him and left him on the side of the road whilst still a young boy.
Alongside the modern murder mystery story is the st...more
The second story is a murder mystery set in the present among a fundamentalist spl...more
There are two stories within the cover of The 19th Wife. We have Ann Eliza's story of what it was like growing up in the early Mormon Church. Ann Eliza grows up to be the 19th wife of Brigham Young and eventually divorces him.
You also have the modern day story of Jordan, a young man...more