Rachel's Reviews > Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage

Becoming Sister Wives by Kody Brown
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's review
Jul 05, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, memoir, non-fiction, tv-movie
Read in July, 2012

One of my not-so-secret shames is that I love TV tie-in books so when I saw that a Sister Wives book had come out, I had to get it. (Sister Wives is a reality TV show on TLC that stars Kody Brown, his four wives: Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn, and their seventeen children.)

Becoming Sister Wives is divided into four parts and each wife wrote her own section for each part. Part 1: Matrimony is each wife's story of how they came to marry Kody. Part 2: Sorority is about how the wives get along with each other. Part 3: Family is about how the financial side of the marriage works and how the wives raise their children. Part 4: Celebrity is about how the wives' extended families reacted to them being on a reality TV show and how the wives are handling the stress of press tours, etc. Kody wrote the prologue and epilogue.

Since I am a huge fan of the Sister Wives TV show, I'm happy to learn any inside information about the show and family that I can. One of the reasons I like the show so much is that for the most part everyone gets along and there isn't too much drama or negativity. After reading this book, I know that the Brown's are keeping a lot of the more negative things going on in their lives from the camera. The show gives the impression that the first three wives have always been best friends. However, according to the book, they actually have never gotten along that great and are friends on a surface level at most.

Although I mostly admire the Brown's for being discrete on the show and in the book, part of me wants to know some down and dirty secrets! The wives mention fights and conflicts but are vague about details. Janelle writes about moving out several years ago when she and Meri had a really bad fight but doesn't write anything about what the fight was about. Meri writes about how she and Kody courted someone before Janelle but broke of the engagement when things went sour. She gives no details about why. This book was only 270 pages with a pretty big font so there was definitely room for dishing dirt. I can understand why they didn't even though I was somewhat frustrated by it.

This book goes into more of the religious reasons that they believe in plural marriage but doesn't go all the way. I think they are probably afraid of alienating people if they explain the whole deal because it is a very male dominated thing, with the man being the only way his wives can get into heaven. Also, the Brown's emphasize that although they are fundamentalist Mormons, they are not part of the FLDS led by Warren Jeffs. They don't name their domination in the book but according to Wikipedia, they belong to the Apostolic United Brethren, which is fairly liberal as far as fundamentalist Mormon sects go.

Although this book is intended for those who watch Sister Wives, I think that it would also appeal to those who want to learn more about modern day polygamy. If you are a die-hard fan of the show like I am, then you need this book for sure.
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