In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.
Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.
When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.
But all is not what it seems, and when the Marshal is critically injured, Deborah and her husband’s best friend, Nels Anderson, are faced with life and death decisions that question their faith, humanity, and both of their futures.
Ann is the author of "The Glovemaker," "The Promise," and "The Personal History of Rachel DuPree." She was nominated for the UK's Orange Prize, the Orange Award for New Writers, and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. In the United States, she won the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction and the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction. She was shortlisted for the Ohioana Book Award and was a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writer. Ann was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters.
Ann's latest novel, "The Glovemaker" is set in Utah's canyon country during the winter of 1888. This is a change from her second novel, "The Promise," which takes place in Galveston, Texas -- where Ann lives -- during the historic 1900 Storm that killed thousands. Just to keep things interesting, her debut novel, "The Personal History of Rachel DuPree," takes readers to the South Dakota Badlands during 1917.
She was born in Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. She graduated from Wright State University in Dayton with a BA in Social Work and earned a MA in Sociology from the University of Houston. She has been a social worker in psychiatric and nursing home facilities, and taught sociology at Wharton County Junior College in Texas.
In addition to Ohio and Texas, Ann has lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa. She lives in Galveston, Texas, where she's working on a novel about a World War II German POW camp in Hearne, Texas.
The place in Utah is now called Capital Reef National Park, but in 1888 it was know as Junction, where a small number of Mormons settled. They settled here to separate themselves in a way from their Mormon community and while some of them may not have been as devout, they still considered themselves to be “Saints”, part of the Church of Latter Day Saints. With lovely prose I was taken there and then, because Anne Weisgarber made me feel as if I was in this rugged area of Utah, in the winter of 1888. I was totally engaged with the history, the place, the characters, with their beliefs, with their moral dilemmas. Most of story takes place over the course of several days and the whole novel in a month’s time. Deborah Tyler is alone in her cabin, waiting for her husband Samuel to return. Samuel is away at his work as a wheelwright, but he hasn’t returned when he was expected over 40 days ago. Deborah’s first person narrative, alternates with Nels, her husband’s half brother, and there are a few letters from Samuel that are interspersed. Weisgarber allows the reader to know these characters intimately, their thoughts and feelings, their doubts, their pasts.
Deborah hopes that the Mormon men who sometimes stop at their home looking for help to get to a place of safety called Floral Ranch as they run from the law, would not come when Samuel is away. Most of the men are devout Mormons, who are breaking the law as polygamists and they run to save their wives and children. If they were jailed and fined, their property and businesses would be sold leaving their families homeless. They ran to save their families. Even though Samuel and Deborah and Nels do not believe in or practice plural marriage, they cannot bring themselves to abandon their own, so they help. A man does stop by when Samuel is gone and Deborah tries to help with Samuel’s half-brother, Nels. This sets into motion events that will change the future for Deborah and the people in the community and the man chasing the run away Mormon. I was hooked from the beginning.
In her ending note, the author made clear that this is a work of fiction but it is based on a real place where this community settled and real circumstances. If good historical fiction is something you enjoy, this is one I definitely recommend. I originally gave this 4.5 stars and as I wrote this review, I thought that there really wasn’t much about this book that I didn’t like so it’s 5 stars.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Skyhorse Publishing through Edelweiss.
I was completely invested in The Glovemaker right off the bat. I found this historical fiction story interesting - it stayed interesting - and I was curious to see how things would play out.
The Glovemaker is set in the late 1880s in Utah. Deborah is anxiously awaiting the return of her husband, Samuel, from a work trip. He travels, near and far, fixing wagon wheels. Deborah, her husband’s stepbrother, Nels, and the other families living in the isolated town of Junction, are Mormon.
One winter night, a man shows up at Deborah’s cabin, seeking shelter. He is Mormon, on the run, being pursued by a marshal. If Deborah and the others help any men on the run, they risk punishment if they are caught aiding them. When an accident occurs, involving the marshal, Deborah, Nels, and the rest of the Junction community are tested.
The group faces many struggles, both internal and external. They must balance moral questions of right vs. wrong, deciding whether to protect themselves or act in accordance with their religious values, remain patient in Samuel’s absence, and do all of this while battling the harsh conditions of winter.
I really enjoyed The Glovemaker and wasn’t sure what would end up happening or how the various situations would be resolved. I liked both Deborah and Nels, whose POVs alternate throughout the book. This was a very good story!
Thank you to NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing for providing an advanced copy of The Glovemaker in exchange for an honest review.
This was a quiet, slow moving story yet impactful in its simplicity. It takes place in an isolated Mormon town in Utah where the terrain is harsh. A woman patiently awaits her husband’s return from a journey he should have been back from weeks ago. A man appears and with him comes trouble. This is a story about faith and doctrine; a questioning of religion and it’s authoritarian ways. Now it happens that their faith is put to the test. Saving one who is not their own but recognizing the humanitarian acts to do so even at the expense of bargaining with God. This was simply a wonderful read to ponder. 4.25⭐️
This was a beautiful novel set in the rugged canyon country of southern Utah and takes place in the winter of 1888. A few Mormon families have moved to “The Junction” they do not practice all the ways of the church anymore but haven’t completely broken away. This story was mostly told by Deborah, a Mormon wife waiting patiently for her traveling wheelwright husband to return home, and Nels.. the husbands stepbrother. Some occurrences happen that make this very suspenseful, and that tackle their moral conscience. I read this much faster then most books.. couldn’t stay away!
Thank you to Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing for the advanced copy!
Set in Junction, a town in the southwestern area of Utah, in the somewhat harsh, craggy land of canyons, with unbearably hot and humid summers, and bitterly cold, snow-filled and dangerous winters, a settlement of eight Mormon families have chosen to call this place home, during the winter of end of 1887 through the beginning of 1888.
”I’d known Samuel since I was eleven and he was twelve. I was forty now. Him and me were step-brothers. If he were in some kind of trouble, he’d expect me to look for him. Like I’d expect him to do for me.”
When Samuel is late returning, Nels and a neighbor, Carson Miller, went to look for Samuel, whose job as a wheelwright had him travel to offer his services, and would often be gone for months at a time, but it was the middle of December, and winter would soon make travel by wagon even more difficult.
Three days out of Junction, they discover a rockslide had taken out the trail that Samuel would normally have returned on, they determined this is the reason for his delay, he’s had to backtrack and take a longer route home.
”…a reminder from God that everything, even boulders, could find themselves in places they hadn’t expected.”
Samuel’s wife, Deborah, is doing her best not to worry about her husband, who she is sure will arrive relatively soon. And then one night a stranger shows up at her door, and she soon comes to the conclusion he is avoiding the law because he’s a polygamist. A winter storm is in the air, and while she fears the repercussions that might follow, she allows him to stay in the barn that night, taking him to Nels, the next morning, knowing he will guide him to a place of safety, Floral Ranch.
The LDS Church didn’t officially terminate the practice of polygamy until 1890, despite Congress passing the Morrill-Anti-Bigamy Act in 1862. Despite that, knowing that soon a Marshall will undoubtedly show up at her door, and with her husband away on business she has reason to be afraid, her closest neighbors aren’t close enough to be aware until it would be too late.
While this group of families in this isolated place don’t practice polygamy, with the exception of one man who has two wives, but even they have tried to find a way to fairly deal with their circumstances. While these families still have some degree of the faith that was instilled in them when they were in Salt Lake City, they are content to avoid a lot of the practices of the church slide into their past. They have no official rank among them, no official building set aside for a church, but they still do manage to gather together on Sundays for worship.
”We came to Junction to get away from being organized into committees. We didn’t want to be told what we were supposed to do and how. It wasn’t that we didn’t hold church services. We did The same went for how we helped out when a family needed a barn built or a woman was too sick to care for her children. We just didn’t want to be made to do it.”
This is the first book I’ve read by Ann Weisgarber, and I loved how she fictionalized the history of the people in this area with this lovely story. I fell into this story right away, and really loved these people, the time and place as well as the beautifully descriptive writing.
Another gem I might have overlooked if it had not been for my goodreads friend (and Book Sister!) Angela! If you haven’t done so already please check out her review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
It takes a book such as this to make one realize what a very difficult life the American pioneers had living in uncharted harsh land that was isolated and remote.
In The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber, we are introduced to Deborah Tyler, a woman whose husband is a wheelwright, and also a Mormon. Because of their differing beliefs in the Mormon faith, they decided to move to an enclave consisting of seven families in a place they call Junction. Deborah's husband, Samuel, needs to travel with his occupation and when the book opens we learn that he is overdue home. The weather has shut down, as it is winter in the Utah territory and the harsh realities that are faced by Deborah and others make this a compelling story.
Into this book, is interwoven the idea that Deborah and her husband have helped men who are running from the law because they believe in the ability to have a number of wives, which was formerly one of the tenets of the Mormon faith. These men along with those who harbor them are considered felons so when one of them shows up on blistery winter's day at Deborah's door while her husband was away, she is tasked to find a way to assist him. Deborah's life becomes more hazardous when a Marshall shows up in search of the runaway felon and she and the brother of her husband must find a way to cover up the fact that they have assisted this man.
There are many underlying themes to this well written story, ones of questioning the faith one had embraced, one of helping those in danger with no thought to your own peril, one of loving a husband who is well overdue to return home, and one of living in a place that is so inhospitable that it taxes the mind and body.
I enjoyed this story for the grace of its characters, for the depiction of frontier life, and for giving me a bit more understanding of the Mormon religion.
This is the first book I've read by the author Ann Weisgarber. I must say I was not disappointed with her writing. She writes a poignant and fascinating story. You can envision the rough and rugged landscape of Utah in the late 1880's that she writes about.
The story is told by two characters. Both are living in a very small Mormon settlement in Utah in the late 1880's. Deborah, has been left alone for many months as her husband (Samuel) is a wheelwright and travels the countryside to find work. He is past due his return. Nels, is Samuel's step-brother, who also lives alone in the settlement. One day a stranger knocks on Deborah's door. As she answers this pulls her into a predicament and she requests the help of Nels.
I did not know much about the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) history and I found it rather interesting. The story was good but at times ran a little bit too slow for my liking. Still a good book that does not end very surprisingly but yet very appropriately.
Thank-you to NetGalley, Skyhorse Publishing and Pan Macmillan (Publishers Group Canada) for granting me the opportunity to read this Advanced Reader Copy.
*https://theburgeoningbookshelf.blogsp... The Glovemaker is an atmospheric tale set in the small Mormon community of Junction in Southern Utah. A small group of Mormon families have moved away from the core group to create some distance but not all together give up their faith. It was a place for those that wanted to escape religious persecution and those that needed some space within their religion. Deborah and Samuel do not practice the faith’s practice of polygamy but are willing to help their ‘brothers’ who are hunted and persecuted for having plural wives. The men come to their door and Samuel moves them on to a hidden refuge.
The story is narrated in the 1st person by Deborah and her brother-in-law, Nels, as all through the troubles they await the return of their husband and brother Samuel to arrive home through the snow. He is late returning but there are many circumstances that could have delayed him.
When a man comes to Deborah’s door seeking help she is cautious and wants nothing to do with him but neither can she turn him away and as a life hangs in the balance this decision has a rolling effect on the whole community.
A sense of foreboding hung heavily in the air right from the onset. Set in the rugged canyon country of Southern Utah during the winter of 1888 the bitter cold was invasive as Deborah trudging through snow and ice to perform her daily routine.
Weisgarber’s writing is taut, tense and crisp. I was hooked on the mystery of Samuel’s whereabouts and waited eagerly with Deborah for his return. The Latter-day Saints religion was well explained and even though I don’t agree with their beliefs I did gain an appreciation for the religious persecution they endured. The story is fraught with impending danger. The characters live a life of secrets and lies, always looking over their shoulder and never trusting anyone.
Although The Glovemaker is a work of fiction, the Latter-day Saints settlement at Junction (renamed Fruita) is real. The area is now Capital Reef national Park and the orchards that the early settlers planted still thrive there.
If you read Historical Fiction I cannot recommend this novel highly enough. A must read!
*I wish to thank the publisher for my copy to read and review.
Good historical fiction illuminates the past through story. And with Ann Weisgarber’s precise, pitch-perfect writing, you’re in for quite a tale about members of the Mormon community in rugged 1888 Utah; they are believers, but with their own caveats about the church.
I had no idea about the historic events at Mountain Meadows and very little understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ faith; while there is a strong Mormon presence in Arizona, and I lived on a street in downtown Phoenix which had, at its center, a Latter-day Saint’s church --and I have worked with people of Mormon faith/received their door-to-door visits -- I was largely in the dark about beliefs and practices. This book, for me, showed the similarities – frankly – of my own religious upbringing in an Evangelical church (“Brother” Nels, “Sister” Deborah; witnessing to others, etc.), and the lengths to which some supporters will go to defend their church and its beliefs.
As the book says, “People did such things. Covering up was what folks had a tendency to to do when the truth didn’t make them look good.”
I was impressed by the author’s deep and encompassing research while not being a Mormon, herself. But there is more to this story than religion. It actually is not heavy-handed, so don’t let that deter you. During the story's time-span of only about five days, you’ll come to love Deborah, Samuel and Nels through their separate narratives and letters. The latter part of the book really hums along with questions of moral conscience, making the reader guess how personal decisions will impact the characters's lives. And the harsh setting will have you wondering how people survived in the late nineteenth century.
I also loved this author’s first two books - The Personal History of Rachel Dupree (to be a movie optioned by and starring Viola Davis), and The Promise. I can’t wait to read her next novel!
Thank you Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing for the ARC.
This is an intriguing chapter in Mormon history. One I knew nothing about and that kept me glued to the pages.
Utah Territory Mountains, 1888. A man on the run after being charged with polygamy shelters in the tiny settlement of Junction before moving on to the safe haven of Floral Ranch. A marshall chasing him also ends up in Junction. The settlement consists of a few families who have left Carson in disagreement over dogma, while still practicing the Mormon faith. They call themselves the in-betweens. One of them is Deborah, our glovemaker and main character, anxiously awaiting the return of her husband Samuel, a wheelwright, on his way home through the January snowfall.
The story has a slow but intense pace. It snows throughout the book, the landscape is bleak, the cabins cold, the mood dark. Vivid descriptions of scenery and indepth characters. The Glovemaker is an unique story about love and loss, families looking out for each other and the white lies that are told while trying to do the right thing. An impressive read.
The style of writing is engaging, but for me it was more of the storyline that wasn’t grasping for me. And this is due to personal preferences. Before requesting this book, I was hesitant if this was something I wanted to read. And it got confirmed that this was not a book for me due to the storyline.
The Glovemaker is an immersive tale that sweeps you away to the harsh territory of canyon country, Southern Utah during the late 1880s when the strict rules and practice of polygamy by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prompted even some of their most faithful followers to drift away to remote areas and create new, smaller communities of their own.
The prose is concise and expressive. The characters are hardy, resourceful, isolated, and tormented. And the plot, with an underlying current of dread, is a suspenseful, emotional filled tale of family, faith, loss, love, secrets, persecution, determination, morality, community, and violence.
Overall, The Glovemaker is a beautifully written, powerful, unique story, and even though there is not much known about these small groups of Mormon nonconformists, Weisberger has done a remarkable job of taking the barest of historical facts and surrounding them with fiction that is richly described, mysterious, believable, and exceptionally fascinating.
Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Glovemaker is a fine example of a meticulously researched and exquisitely characterised work of historical fiction. The plot unfurls slowly and steadily as you read, and both the beautifully drawn characters and the plot are vividly engaging; I felt as though I was there with them and not just looking from the outside in. It is, however, a rather bleak and melancholy-infused story that gets under your skin, but the descriptions of nineteenth-century rural Utah and the townsfolk are appealing making you read on. A highly enjoyable historical piece. I look forward to much more to come in a similar vein from Ms Weisgarber; her future is indeed bright.
In 1888 a small settlement of Mormons were living in Junction, Utah. These isolated families were not quite as organized and devout as most in their church, but still kept the Faith. Deborah was alone on a frigid January evening, and feeling worried because her husband had not returned yet from his long journey working as a wheelwright. There was a knock on the door from a stranger needing help. Although Deborah and her husband did not practice polygamy, they had provided shelter on other occasions to polygamist men running from the Federal Marshals. She felt that their wives and children would suffer if the men were jailed and the families lost their homes. But it was very dangerous for Deborah to harbor a criminal with the lawmen on the chase. Offering food and shelter to the stranger set off a series of events that changed many lives in Junction. The book is told in alternating points of view of Deborah and her brother-in-law, Nels. They and the other townspeople have to make ethical choices where there is not a clear right and wrong.
This was a wonderful story with a deep sense of history, a harsh rocky setting, and likable main characters facing tough decisions. Everyone was trying to protect their families in their own way, but that brought conflict between their beliefs and the law. "The Glovemaker" is a quiet book, but I liked it so much that I read it in one evening.
This book in the majority of pages was 4 star. But somehow in the last 50 pages in trying to tie up the Mormon history and comparisons to past events in which Latter Day Saints were pivotal- it just lost an entire star for me. It took you too far from Deborah and her crisis thoughts when nursing the Marshall. After that point in the book? I felt I didn't "lose" the core of Deborah and her waiting angst and onus to the Mormon connections to motives in her life- but that it became too many other characters and movements displayed from that crux of her "trust".
I am quite aware that most readers will feel the exact opposite. And might have thought all that "first half of the book" copy spent in tasks, worry, manipulations to protect the hunted, seeking for her husband's "sheltering" presence- that most of the book's pages were slow to boring for "action". But I feel this book was the most excellent when the least was happening.
It captures a place and a cabin in a culture of a certain time span just perfectly. Not knowing, having no communication- and absolutely relying on the few other humans within 100 miles to provide a "shopping" trip or a solid face to "authority" or whatever accident or illness could intervene for any reaction.
This is a solid 3.5 stars or more for entertainment too for most of the book. I especially liked the style of written prose flow for both narrators' thoughts when alone. Simple and structured as the essence of minimalism. Which they certainly lived. Amid difficult and sometimes deadly nature sparking adrenaline peaks- but with "good intent" and spiritual connection too also "calming"- always at the forefront of onus for "others".
It would have been better if she (Weisgarber) would have understood that she doesn't need to teach us about this religious group with constant historical reference and past adversary positions to illustrate the present "head to heads" and conflict with the larger culture. People who read will intuit much more by just keeping with the present characters and SHOWING in the active progress of the story their examples to this community religious and practical structure. It speaks for itself.
But the first half of the book was nearly a 5 star. The only reason I could not round it up to 4 was that the ending became rushed in both exposures to their cognition (the knowledge to what REALLY had occurred in Dec.) and also to the reveals of the other characters. The balance of the book became jarred- too much an "add-on" to reveal. And that first half did not deserve such a jarring. And I do understand that most readers may think the first 1/2 essentially boring and so slow as to lose all entertainment- because that's what I read here often for books exactly structured similarly to this. But I thought it excellent- that long, slow first half. Nearly perfect in its eyes into the life of this married couple who although childless were deeply adjoined- yet separated by distance. The English prose melded perfectly into this living condition and mindset- a 5 star writing effort.
Strongly recommend, even at the 3.5 star rating- for those of you who have no idea about Mormon core systems- especially within the late 1800's.
Loved this book set in the middle of a Utah winter in pioneer times. Deborah is waiting for her husband to return from his autumn journeys fixing wheels on carts but he is 2 months late. In the harsh weather her little community is sucked into a hunt for a Mormon outlaw who is wanted for polygamous marriage. Deborah must help men and hide her actions and when the Marshall arrives more is revealed until she isn’t sure who is on the good side and who is not. Written in a brisk no nonsense tone, with few characters and a remote setting I was rooting for Deborah all the way. New author to me and I would read her again .
Having read and loved the authors two previous books I have waited and anticipated a new title by her for quite some time. So I was eager to read this and very fortunate to receive an advance copy.
I quite simply LOVED it.
The author has the amazing skill of creating, convincing characters whose skin you can slip inside for the duration of the book. Strong, credible women who live a life so different to my own it would seem virtually impossible to relate to them. Yet the women she creates have left such an indelible mark on me it feels as though they have left a fine layer of themselves in my soul.
She writes about well researched austere locations where I have never been yet by the time I finish reading I feel as though I once lived there. This time we visit the location of Rural Utah in a secluded valley amidst harsh yet dramatic landscapes.
This book is leisurely and gradual, gentle and rather bleak and the narrative is precise and sometimes spare, which creates a real feel of the isolation and loneliness of living in a remote place with few people to talk to. It is set in the middle of a bleak snow-filled January and was the perfect winter read.
For the time I was in this story I WAS Deborah, the glovemaker.
She is one of a small breakaway group of Latterday Saints, Mormons who live apart from most of their faith as they hold themselves slightly apart in that they don't comply with or even condone the plural marriages practised by others of their religion.
Deborah lives with her husband, who is a travelling wheel repairer visiting equally remote villages and farms repairing and making wheels for the folk who need this service. His return home is overdue and as Deborah waits and longs for his arrival, she joins forces with her step brother in law, when a fugitive lands on her doorstep, bringing danger and a real threat to her which she couldn't anticipate.
Don't expect fast-paced, rip-roaring action, this book is deliberate, takes place mainly over a brief period and it is quite sombre and bleak. Yet I completely adored it.
If you appreciate a well-told absorbing tale, great characters and unique locations you just can't miss this. I felt very bereft when I finished it.
This is my first read by this author. The book's historical details were finely researched by the author. The characters are very realistic in speech and mannerisms of the Mormons which is what the main character along with seven other families in this desolate Utah territory in the winter of 1888 are. The book was raw,very realistic and bleak. It kept my attention fully riveted on the pages. I enjoyed learning about the Mormons and some of their beliefs and practices in nineteenth-century rural Utah. This is one book that is nothing like I expected it to be, but better! Published February 5th 2019 I was given a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own. Check out this and all my reviews on my blog https://cnnamongirl.wixsite.com/website
I absolutely love this book- one of the best historical novels I've read. I finished this in several long gulps and have been thinking about it ever since. The time and place are so exquisitely wrought by the author, and she brings her characters to life with ringing clarity. This made me rethink what I thought I knew about Mormon communities, but more than that, it made me pause in wonder at the complexity and beauty of human relations. It's a very emotional and deeply affecting story -- and this is one of those great books that makes you want to visit the location where it took place, just to soak in some more of the vibes. I can't wait to visit Capitol Reef National Park and retrace Deborah's and Nels' steps!
The actual story plot was okay. This book was exceedingly heavy on the Mormon faith and it’s history with religious quotes throughout and examples of monogamous and polygamous relationships within their own tiny community tucked in the canyons of Utah.
In the late 1880’s, the federal government of America declared polygamy a felony. Bad news for the Mormons then. Men with multiple wives suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of the law and with warrants out for their arrest, many fled not just to save themselves but also to protect their families.
In the small town of Junction, we meet Deborah. She is the odd one out in this town. Married, but to a husband who is away for months at a time and with no children, the other villagers don’t quite know what to make of her. I, on the other hand, warmed to her from the moment I was introduced to her. When Deborah’s husband doesn’t make it back home on the date he should have returned, little does she know her life will be turned upside down even more.
Deborah is used to strangers showing up at her door, seeking help. She, her husband and his stepbrother run some sort of underground network and try to get men guilty of polygamy to safety. But when someone knocks on Deborah’s door, she instinctively knows trouble has arrived. Because no stranger ever comes calling in January. This unforgiving stretch of land deep in Utah territory is far too dangerous this time of year. Yet, Deborah sees no option but to help this stranger. That decision will change the lives of all the residents in Junction.
The Glovemaker is historical fiction from the top shelf. A lot of it is steeped in facts, which is always a bonus to me. This period in history was completely new to me. I learned quite a bit and am rather determined to find out more. Not every Mormon is a polygamist and the people in Junction much prefer to practice their faith in their own way. Nevertheless they will never turn their backs on their own.
The setting almost acts as a character on its own. It’s harsh and I have nothing but admiration for the people who tried to carve a life out in that place. They make it work somehow and there’s something quite comforting about knowing you can always rely on your little community, no matter what.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Glovemaker. It was easy to understand how hard it was for Deborah to make certain decisions. The wintery conditions added to the sense of isolation and throughout the story I felt quite unsettled, feeling something was coming but never really sure what that something would be. The Glovemaker is an utterly immersive story of love, faith and survival. My first introduction to Ann Weisgarber was an immense success and I look forward to reading more by her!
Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review
This was a bit of a slow start in the beginning and I just couldn't help but feel that the storyline would have been much more interesting if it was a short story rather than a full length novel. Crazy idea, right? Not enough action for my tastes but I did find the historical record interesting.
I read through this book in one day. I will bypass the summary of the story, because many reviewers have done this very well. I found this book to be painfully slow. As I read the book, I was confused about the title, because there was little reference to glove-making. Several times I went back to the summary to make sure that I was reading the e book that I had downloaded. At the end of the story, the significance of the protagonist’s trade as a glovemaker packed a powerful punch. The historical fiction aspect of the novel was fascinating. I enjoy reading historical novels set in the US in an area of the country that I am not familiar with. I grew up in New England and I am very familiar with the the early history of our country. Reading about the harsh living conditions in Utah in the late 1880’s was an eye-opener for me. I grew up in a house built in 1890, which reflected a very different way of life. I was also fascinated reading about the Mormon church at that time. I was not aware of the splintering of the faith community. I was also not aware that federal agents hunted down members of the church who still practiced polygamy. As I read my comments, it seems like I should give it a high rating, but in the end it was the pace of the novel that made it hard for me to persevere to the end. I rate it 3 stars.
This historical fiction takes us back to a place called Junction in 1888, which now can be found in the Capitol Reef National Park. This is an oasis in a remote desert of high dry canyons that are snow covered in Winter. Here a small group of Mormons founded a sanctuary, for a time, filled with irrigated Orchards. I can't recall ever reading anything much about Mormons before but did know about their association with Utah. I also had a good young friend in Primary school who was a Mormon and I don't remember anything much different about her, except her stay-at-home Mum was a great cook and she had crushes on the young men she called "The Elders" who the rest of us ridiculed when they door-knocked around the local streets on their bicycles wearing white shirts and ties. The Mormons in this book suffer far more than being ridiculed. Anyone with more than one wife is outlawed as a bigamist by 1888, and some of these men disappear into the desert to evade the law. It's a really fascinating look at those times but it's also an easy read. I felt like I got a lot out of it and will look-up her backlist soon.
This is not a book that I would normally ever pick up. Emma from Drinking By My Shelf mentioned it in a video and said it's a good isolated, winter read so I gave it a shot. I don't really know how I feel about this book or who I would recommend it to.
I did enjoy it quite a bit, especially once the story got rolling. It's a very simple premise with no real mystery or action or romance or anything that would normally drive a plot forward. It's winter in Utah, 1888 and the main character Deborah is in a difficult time in her life. Her husband, who normally travels for work a couple of months out of the year, is several weeks late in returning to their small Mormon village. She hopes that he is just delayed, but fears that he might be dead. Then a stranger arrives and asks her to help him hide from the lawman chasing after him, and she has a mini crises of faith while figuring out what to do.
There's some good character development, and I liked the interactions between Deborah and the other townspeople. There is a lot of talk about religion in this book, which normally turns me off, but it worked for this story. I think it gave enough of a summary of the Mormon faith to understand Deborah's beliefs and actions, but doesn't go into too many details. The more I think about this book the more I like it. It's a quiet, winter read, and I would pick up more from this author.
The gloves say it all... This is a slice of American History that most of us have no idea about unless you are Morman, and then, maybe not even then. What does it feel like for Deborah to grow up as a Latter Day Saint, the daughter of the second wife, when her father prefers the company of his new family? What does it do to her faith in everything she was raised to believe?
Ann Weisberger combines the deep questions of faith, religion and spirituality with a thriller and mystery. I can't remember such a historical story that combines these things, unless it would be MY COUSIN RACHEL which I dearly loved.
The Glovemaker will keep you reading to find out when Deborah's mssing husband will come home, whether the Latter Day Saint fugitive will escape the law, whether deborah's faith will withstand the turns of fate she never bargained for.
Congratulations, Ann. Beautiful book. And oh, those gloves really got to me.
1880's Utah, remote homesteads of Mormons - The daily living under threat from U.S. Marshalls is poignantly presented in accounts from two major characters in the account. I found it interesting. First reading of this author. She succeeds in portraying the hardships of a young woman living alone in a small cabin with nearest neighbors some distance whose husband travels to make his living as a wheelwright. Her fears and caution are evident when having to answer the door to strangers.
The Glovemaker marks my first encounter with the work of Ann Weisgarber and I can’t say I’m disappointed with my experience. Though a little slow for my liking, the novel delves into some complex subject matter and I liked how it made me think about the characters and the issues that shape them.
Deborah Tyler is a woman of faith who questions both the traditions of her community and those who persecute her fellows for the practices they exercise. Her story centers on emotionally charged questions of both ethics and faith in the face of adversity and I loved how it emphasized the gentle grace and quiet courage of the heroine.
I thought the ending predictable but found it so sensitively drawn that I was not disappointed by it. I also enjoyed Weisgarber’s exploration of the Mountain Meadows Massacre and life in the Mormon settlement of Junction.
The Glovemaker was not what I expected. I'm not familiar with the Mormon faith, and for this reason, I couldn't connect with this story. I believe anyone familiar with the Mormon faith will enjoy this book. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.