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Hidden Wives

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,509 ratings  ·  294 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Sara and her beautiful sister, Rachel, are too young to legally drive a car--but are approaching spinsterhood in Utah's secret polygamist Blood of the Lamb community. Having long since reached the "age of preparedness," they will soon be married off to much older men chosen by the hidden sect's revered Prophet.

As Sara, chosen to become her uncle's fifth wi
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Forge Books (first published June 1st 2010)
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The 19th Wife by David EbershoffThe Chosen One by Carol Lynch WilliamsKeep Sweet by Michele Dominguez GreeneSister Wife by Shelley HrdlitschkaHidden Wives by Claire Avery
Polygamist Cults
5th out of 23 books — 101 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsGraceling by Kristin CashoreCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakShiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Books I wouldn't have discovered without Goodreads
284th out of 1,717 books — 1,005 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 21, 2010 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Susan by: Tara Chevrestt
Edit: After some thought, I'm lowering my rating on this book. Although I enjoyed reading it, the good and bad of the characters are too extreme and there isn't the depth or complexity I was expecting. Still, it is a very readable novel.

Rachel and Sara are sisters, well, actually half-sisters, living with their mothers, father, siblings, and half-siblings in a secluded polygamist Utah community (sound familiar?). Except for a short stint in a public school, they know nothing of life outside thei
Some authors have a story to tell but lack the ability to tell it. Some authors are prolific writers but have no story to tell so they blather for pages about nothing. Then there are those books that capture you completely with not only a compelling story but a voice that holds the reader's attention for hours on end.

This is one of those books.

Sara and Rachel are best friends and sisters. When I say sisters, I really mean that they share a father but not a mother. They live in a fundamentalist s
Tara Chevrestt
Approximately a mile and a half from a town in Utah called Centennial, lies a commuity called Blood of the Lamb in which men are the gods of their households and women are disposable. The "prophet" of this community claims he receives instructions directly from his god and therefore his words are infallible. He has 50 wives. His "apostles" are the richest in the community and they also have many young wives. The more common men in the community have about three or four wives a piece.

Sara and Ra
How the HELL is this book rated so high on goodreads? What started off as a story about Mormon fundamentalists in Utah quickly turned into a trashy novel full of every Mormon stereotype ever created. Incest, rape, children being married off to old men, prominent racism, the removal of young boys from the community, sister wives...these are all real parts of the famed LDS community of fundamental Mormonism, and set the tone for a lot of the horror stories that we recognize from news media and oth ...more
Jun 23, 2010 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: book clubs
Recommended to Kim by: Claire Avery, Aths, Mary
“Hush, Hush, Sweet Sister-Wives”

Unspoken scandals run beneath this secret polygamist community in Utah like coal and iron run through Pennsylvania.

Hidden Wives tells the riveting story of Rachel and Sara, two 15-year old sisters, empowered by their will to live, love…and survive.

I received this book from Claire Avery, the pseudonym of a sister author tag team. I spent a lot of time holding my breath while reading this over the past week!

However, I do give advance warning of some graphic pass
This book succeeds with overkill in painting an ugly picture of polygagamy- child abuse, spouse abuse, rape, incest, suicide, PTSD, racism... and wraps it up too neatly for me to really give this book high marks. What the heck is the bit about the speech impediment too- that is miraculously healed. This novel tried to squeeze too much in for me to really enjoy.
From My Blog...[return][return]Having eclectic reading tastes has many advantages, one of them being that I come across a variety of books I can, without a doubt, categorize as one of the best I have read in whatever the genre may be. Hidden Wives by Claire Avery is just such a book. A riveting and emotional story, Avery takes the reader deep inside The Blood of the Lamb community, a polygamist sect in Utah, telling the story through two sisters, recently turned 15-year-old Sara and her almost 1 ...more
I felt like there was a lot of sensationalism in the plot. Like it wasn't just that there was a baby with a birth defect because there's a lot of close relatives having children, it had to be a baby whose insides were coming out, and the father walks into the birthing room with a shovel and a garbage bag. And it wasn't just that marriages were political exchanges, but the girl has a huge panic attack when she overhears two men basically trading daughters.
The characters thought processes, especia
I really enjoyed this book, especially since I had to remind myself that it was written by two sisters who weren't Mormons. If you love Big Love on HBO, then you’ll really enjoy reading Hidden Wives by Claire Avery. Written by two sisters who were raised in a fundamentalist midwestern Catholic community, Hidden Wives captures the perfect blend of fear, confusion, blind faith and twisted love of a polygamist cult members in the great state of where else–Utah.
I'm hosting a giveaway for 3 autograph
Karen Dewinter
I received an advance review copy of "Hidden Wives." I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting, something I haven't done in about ten years. There was so much tension in every chapter, and the characters were so compelling and richly drawn that I found myself worrying about these two teenaged girls growing up in this bizarre and predatory polygamist cult. This story stays with you long after you finish the last page. I highly recommend it.
2 stars just for the beginning... the latter half of the book doesn't deserve to be rated... DISGUSTING!!!!!!
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Rachel and Sara are fifteen, an age by when they should be married. In Utah's secret Blood of the Lamb community, that is. When the book begins, their father is taking them to see the prophet to decide who they should marry. Sara is to be wedded to her uncle, while Rachel has received sixteen "testimonies". (For a marriage to be fixed, a male should receive a testimony or a message from God to marry someone.) Rachel's sixteen testimonies send the same message to both her father, who believes Rac ...more
Lisa Newton-Smart
Claire Avery's Hidden Wives presents a piercingly emotional landscape through Sara and Rachel, two sisters coming-of-age in The Blood of the Lamb community - a fundamental polygamist sect in Utah. At 15 and 16-years-of-age, Sara and Rachel are bordering on spinsterhood. Most "girls" receive their marriage confirmations as early as 13-years-of-age through the "law of placing." The more wives a man has, the more likely he will attain the status of a god in the afterlife. It does not take long for ...more
This book is utterly stunning in its execution. The prose is fluid and engaging. The characters are fleshed out so well and with such precision that I felt myself completely immersed in their world, actually feeling like I was there, living their lives. The plot flowed seamlessly from one scene to the next, carrying the reader page by page into Sara and Rachel's world, showing us their young innocence and blind faith in the only life and religion they have ever known.

I admit to not knowing very
Eileen Souza
I'll admit that I have an unhealthy fascination with polygamy and culture. I thoroughly enjoy Big Love and Sister Wives, so when I saw this book, I just had to grab it. It was a very decent book, quick read that really did dive into the culture from the perspective of two teenage girls in the community. If I could give it 3.5 stars, I would, but it didn't quite make 4 stars to me. I would also have liked to have had book club questions and additional details from the authors about their own live ...more
I find it very difficult to believe that Claire Avery did not have first-hand knowledge into the goings on of these multi-wife communities. Her descriptions are so clear that I can see the places her characters go. I feel what they feel and see what they see. Her characters are also believable, scary, and loveable. On the other hand, however, knowing that this is not a first-hand account, I wonder how much of this book is based on prejudices, and how much is based on actual, documented events. I ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 21, 2010 Staci rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Staci by: TLC Book Tour
Shelves: 2010-reads, tlc-tour
My Thoughts:
I'm going to review this one a bit differently today. I'm would like to share my immediate thoughts and impressions as I was reading this thought-provoking book.

* action begins immediately as the reader is thrust into the heart-pounding lives of Sara and Rachel.
* wonder how the men would like it if the women had all the rights, choices, and power. Polygamy would die out...that's what would happen!
* Law of Chastity: forbade sexual acts while the woman is expecting. What a FARCE!
I really didn't want to like this book. I wanted an objective view of a real polygamous family, and what I got was the inner workings of a fundamentalist polygamous cult. I wanted to hate this book for all of the stereotyping of polygamy. But that didn't happen.

Instead, I loved this book. It took me inside this cult, gave me some real information as to the "rules and teachings", and a look into the thoughts and emotions of some of its members. It took me on a journey into the hell and back out a
What a powerful book! I've heard of Polygamist communities and seen the footage on TV of them being exposed. I really didn't think much of it except that it was a lifestyle that was so very different from what I believe in. After reading this book I have a very different view on these communities and a profound sadness and disbelief that this type of living can actually occur. Although this book is a work of fiction I feel that the authors did a lot of research and portrayed as much of the truth ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hidden Wives, by Claire Avery

"Hidden Wives" is the story of Sara and Rachel, two sisters living in a polygamist cult called the Blood of the Lamb. At the start of the book, their father takes the sisters to the prophet to receive their marriage confirmation - at 16 and 15, the sisters are practically spinsters. Most girls in the Blood of the Lamb are married by 13.

Sara doesn't fully believe the cult's practices, especially when she learns the prophet has received 16 marriage proposals for her p
Jennifer Defoy
A review copy of this title was provided by the author.

I absolutely LOVED this book. It was such a heart-wrenching story. From the very beginning I was wishing for those girls to get out of there.

Rachel and Sara were great characters. Although Rachel was a bit dense, or I guess I should say brainwashed, she was such a compelling character. Sara, right from the word go showed so much intelligence. Her want to get away, but not leave her sister behind really made me heart ache for her.

The writi
Sep 03, 2010 Sheree rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sheree by: Staci @ Life in the Thumb
Hidden Wives was a compelling read; intense, gut-wrenching, heart breaking and enlightening. The imagery is vivid, the characters are believable (some unfortunately so) and the story while fictionalised is agonisingly real. I spent a lot of this book angry and sick to my stomach but I also felt hope. Hidden Wives explores many of the deplorable practices occurring in the Blood of the Lamb sect but it also restored my faith in the inate goodness of many.

My interest in polygamy was stirred by the
Lisa Carol
This book.. what can I say? An amazing debut book.

This is the story of two teenage girls, Rachael, and her sister, Sara, who have been raised in a Fundamental Polygamous community. The Prophet decreed they are soon to be promised as wives to the powerful men of the church that rules the Blood of the Lamb community.
Sara is promised to her much older uncle, and she begins to question the twisted beliefs as she is pulled further away from the real world by her family and church. Meanwhile, her pret
Hidden Wives is a novel of survival. Sara and Rachel are sisters who face more than their fair share of horrors growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon community, living under rules not merely strict but tyrannical and abusive. And blind obedience is mandatory. But as their situations worsen, as they begin to see cracks in the rigid structure of their community—all the greed, hypocrisy, and cruelty there is there—Sara and Rachel realize that they simply have no choice but to leave.

There are stomac
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I find myself able to relate to these characters on more than one level. For example, the love of books that Sara has :-) and there seems to be subtle humor in Hidden Wives that is enjoyable while taking on such a serious issue. There are a couple of disturbing episodes in this book and I feel overall the author(s) handled things very well.

Quotes that stood out...
Chapter One:
"Walter Merrick has received testimony for her hand. I prayed about it and God ordained that Sara will belong to Brother
You know, I just need to stop reading books with teenage protagonists. If they act all melodramatic and over-the-top like teenagers, I'm annoyed. If they act all "wise beyond their years" and say and do things teenagers never would, I'm annoyed. This book did a little bit of both, which -- surprise! -- made me annoyed.

Overall, this book lacks complexity. There are 2 different scenes which are clunkily used as exposition, which frankly would have been better off in some sort of note in the back.
Claire Avery, the pen name for two sisters who wrote this debut novel together, have written a page-turning exploration into the world of a polygamist sect based in Utah. The sisters' interest in and knowledge of extreme religions is portrayed through fictional characters Sara and Rachel, two young members of this sect. After spending their lives with The Blood of the Lamb society, the sisters endure many horrific experiences before deciding to flee the only home and faith they have ever known, ...more
I was completely mesmerized by the story of Rachel and Sara, two sisters raised in a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon sect. Though they have been immersed in the bizarre dogma of their religion their entire lives, circumstances eventually persuade them to make some serious decisions about remaining with a community that condones plural and often underage marriage. As events unfolded, I became more and more engrossed in every aspect of their lives. Sara wants nothing more than to continue her edu ...more
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Win an Autographed Copy of Hidden Wives 2 11 Dec 05, 2014 06:53PM  
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Claire Avery is a pseudonym for Mari Hilburn, an attorney. Mari coauthored her first contemporary fiction novel, HIDDEN WIVES,with her sister, Michelle Hilburn. Mari has written a sequel to HIDDEN WIVES,which will be published in 2013. She is currently working on her next novel.
More about Claire Avery...

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