Marvin's Reviews > The Lonely Polygamist

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
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's review
Feb 20, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: religion
Read from February 16 to 20, 2012

Another wonderful novel from the author of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint. Although this one focuses on a polygamous Mormon sectarian family with four wives and 28 children, it's not quite as odd as Edgar Mint. Udall is a wonderful writer of splendidly vivid scenes, but, unlike some writers who are good at writing scenes, all of those scenes contribute essential elements to the overall story; this is really a page-turner where you always want to know what's going to happen next. Many of the scenes are light-hearted, some even laugh-out-loud funny, but overall it's a rather sad story about a sad, lonely, gentle giant of a man. Several people, seeing me carrying this book around, asked how a polygamist (with 28 children, no less!) could be lonely, but Udall convinces us that he is. Although his case is certainly extreme, I think anyone who feels responsible for their family can identify with his perplexity: How in the world do I do this? And do I really have any control over anything that happens in my family? I enjoyed his story--and the somewhat lesser stories, especially those of his youngest wife and his misfit of a 10-year-old son--a lot.

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