Kim's Reviews > The 19th Wife

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
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's review
Aug 21, 08

bookshelves: 2008
Recommended to Kim by: NPR
Read in August, 2008

This book made it into the realm of the I-can't-put-this-down! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Mormon history or religion in general (both topics which interest me). The major theme of this book is truth - who decides what is truth, does everyone have their own truth based on their desires?

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 reading at an amazing independent bookstore, Vroman's.

The book weaves together the story of Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young's infamous 19th wife, who divorced him and lectured around the country about polygamy. It seems to be agreed upon that she was instrumental in forcing the Mormon church to renounce this practice in 1890. The other story is that of another 19th wife, this one a modern polygamist, akin to the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints that have been much in the news. The modern 19th wife is accused of killing her husband, which her son finds out by chance, as he has been kicked out of the community. This story, told from her son's point of view, was the most compelling to me. I found myself looking ahead to see how many pages I had to get to those parts!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ruth Were you content with the answer to the murder mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was a page turner, but I felt just a bit deflated with the very quick, tidy solution.

Notty I agree with Ruth, but also found this to be a can't-put-it-down book!

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