Pauline's Reviews > The 19th Wife

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
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's review
Sep 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, fiction-historical, religion-fiction
Recommended to Pauline by: a friend who loves to read
Recommended for: those who like historical fiction, religious fiction
Read from March 02 to April 02, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Thought this is a novel (fiction)-the author does use real life accounts from one of Brigham Young's wives. This isn't my first Mormon book and it will not be my last. A friend of mine loaned it to me to read because I enjoy learning about other lives.

Though I am not religious, I am open to other religions and learning about them. I first read into this religion a number of years ago because of another friend who was once LDS. I think this book can describe both sides of the current religion and the "Firsts" with polygamy and the engagement to end polygamy with Ann Eliza Young.

I am a little iffy on this religion (along with Scientology) and where they find their bases. I understand that there are a lot of holes in the Joseph Smith story and what came to be. After all, how can a religion change what they claim to have been delivered from the "ONE", and change it in a matter of a short time in history? Polygamy is no longer a practice in the LDS church.

To me polygamy isn't about getting into "heaven". It's about an egotistical male trying to gather as many gullible & naive women (young women at that). While reading this book, it almost seems it like a game-who could "marry" the most women. Though I am not one to judge, if people are adults-they are able to make their own decisions. As I said-if they are adult. What I did find in this story are the women that came to "find" Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Mormonism-they seem to lack self-esteem, seem to be finding themselves, etc. Take for example Ann Eliza Young, divorcee with 2 young sons. It's almost like they target the...suffering, otherwise they are marrying their stepdaughters.

Even if you don't look at this book as a religion background, it certainly does try to tell a story about a murder that took place and there seems to be holes in who did it, disappearances thereafter and a son returning to Utah to help the mother that abandoned him on a road when he was a teenager.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a historical background!

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