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Hidden Wives

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,133 ratings  ·  328 reviews

Fifteen-year-old Sara and her beautiful sister, Rachel, are too young to legally drive a car but are approaching spinsterhood in Utah's secret polygamist Blood of the Lamb community. Having long since reached the age of preparedness, they will soon be married off to much older men chosen by the hidden sects revered Prophet.

As Sara, chosen to become her uncle's fifth

Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by St. Martins Press-3PL (first published June 1st 2010)
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The 19th Wife by David EbershoffThe Chosen One by Carol Lynch WilliamsKeep Sweet by Michele Domínguez GreeneSister Wife by Shelley HrdlitschkaHidden Wives by Claire Avery
Polygamist Cults
19 books — 115 voters
Wife Number Seven by Melissa  BrownEscape by Carolyn JessopStolen Innocence by Elissa WallUnder the Banner of Heaven by Jon KrakauerChurch of Lies by Flora Jessop
69 books — 65 voters

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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,133 ratings  ·  328 reviews

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Susan (aka Just My Op)
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Susan (aka Just My Op) by: Tara Chevrestt
Edit: After some thought, I'm lowering my rating on this book. Although I enjoyed reading it, the good and bad of the characters are too extreme and there isn't the depth or complexity I was expecting. Still, it is a very readable novel.

Rachel and Sara are sisters, well, actually half-sisters, living with their mothers, father, siblings, and half-siblings in a secluded polygamist Utah community (sound familiar?). Except for a short stint in a public school, they know nothing of life outside
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Some authors have a story to tell but lack the ability to tell it. Some authors are prolific writers but have no story to tell so they blather for pages about nothing. Then there are those books that capture you completely with not only a compelling story but a voice that holds the reader's attention for hours on end.

This is one of those books.

Sara and Rachel are best friends and sisters. When I say sisters, I really mean that they share a father but not a mother. They live in a fundamentalist
Dec 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
How the HELL is this book rated so high on goodreads? What started off as a story about Mormon fundamentalists in Utah quickly turned into a trashy novel full of every Mormon stereotype ever created. Incest, rape, children being married off to old men, prominent racism, the removal of young boys from the community, sister wives...these are all real parts of the famed LDS community of fundamental Mormonism, and set the tone for a lot of the horror stories that we recognize from news media and ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Apr 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Approximately a mile and a half from a town in Utah called Centennial, lies a commuity called Blood of the Lamb in which men are the gods of their households and women are disposable. The "prophet" of this community claims he receives instructions directly from his god and therefore his words are infallible. He has 50 wives. His "apostles" are the richest in the community and they also have many young wives. The more common men in the community have about three or four wives a piece.

Sara and
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
This book succeeds with overkill in painting an ugly picture of polygagamy- child abuse, spouse abuse, rape, incest, suicide, PTSD, racism... and wraps it up too neatly for me to really give this book high marks. What the heck is the bit about the speech impediment too- that is miraculously healed. This novel tried to squeeze too much in for me to really enjoy.
Kim Galla
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: book clubs
Recommended to Kim by: Claire Avery, Aths, Mary
“Hush, Hush, Sweet Sister-Wives”

Unspoken scandals run beneath this secret polygamist community in Utah like coal and iron run through Pennsylvania.

Hidden Wives tells the riveting story of Rachel and Sara, two 15-year old sisters, empowered by their will to live, love…and survive.

I received this book from Claire Avery, the pseudonym of a sister author tag team. I spent a lot of time holding my breath while reading this over the past week!

However, I do give advance warning of some graphic
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
From My Blog...[return][return]Having eclectic reading tastes has many advantages, one of them being that I come across a variety of books I can, without a doubt, categorize as one of the best I have read in whatever the genre may be. Hidden Wives by Claire Avery is just such a book. A riveting and emotional story, Avery takes the reader deep inside The Blood of the Lamb community, a polygamist sect in Utah, telling the story through two sisters, recently turned 15-year-old Sara and her almost ...more
Grace S.
Nov 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: clubbin-with-mom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Sara is a fifteen year old girl,who is set to be her Uncle's Walter's fifth wife, is lonely and desperate to escape her fate. In a celestial marriage, you do the unthinkable in taking in unity your blood relatives when you are at the age od prepardness- a term used to mean age to get married. While she is thankful for her faith, she questions whether it is authentic or just a way to ensure her into doing incesteous things to the people she love. Rachel her beautiful sister fears for her life, ...more
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mormon
I felt like there was a lot of sensationalism in the plot. Like it wasn't just that there was a baby with a birth defect because there's a lot of close relatives having children, it had to be a baby whose insides were coming out, and the father walks into the birthing room with a shovel and a garbage bag. And it wasn't just that marriages were political exchanges, but the girl has a huge panic attack when she overhears two men basically trading daughters.
The characters thought processes,
Karen Dewinter
Mar 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I received an advance review copy of "Hidden Wives." I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting, something I haven't done in about ten years. There was so much tension in every chapter, and the characters were so compelling and richly drawn that I found myself worrying about these two teenaged girls growing up in this bizarre and predatory polygamist cult. This story stays with you long after you finish the last page. I highly recommend it.
Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day)
Rachel and Sara are fifteen, an age by when they should be married. In Utah's secret Blood of the Lamb community, that is. When the book begins, their father is taking them to see the prophet to decide who they should marry. Sara is to be wedded to her uncle, while Rachel has received sixteen "testimonies". (For a marriage to be fixed, a male should receive a testimony or a message from God to marry someone.) Rachel's sixteen testimonies send the same message to both her father, who believes ...more
This book is utterly stunning in its execution. The prose is fluid and engaging. The characters are fleshed out so well and with such precision that I felt myself completely immersed in their world, actually feeling like I was there, living their lives. The plot flowed seamlessly from one scene to the next, carrying the reader page by page into Sara and Rachel's world, showing us their young innocence and blind faith in the only life and religion they have ever known.

I admit to not knowing very
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Staci by: TLC Book Tour
Shelves: 2010-reads
My Thoughts:
I'm going to review this one a bit differently today. I'm would like to share my immediate thoughts and impressions as I was reading this thought-provoking book.

* action begins immediately as the reader is thrust into the heart-pounding lives of Sara and Rachel.
* wonder how the men would like it if the women had all the rights, choices, and power. Polygamy would die out...that's what would happen!
* Law of Chastity: forbade sexual acts while the woman is expecting. What a FARCE!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Newton-Smart
May 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-reads-2010
Claire Avery's Hidden Wives presents a piercingly emotional landscape through Sara and Rachel, two sisters coming-of-age in The Blood of the Lamb community - a fundamental polygamist sect in Utah. At 15 and 16-years-of-age, Sara and Rachel are bordering on spinsterhood. Most "girls" receive their marriage confirmations as early as 13-years-of-age through the "law of placing." The more wives a man has, the more likely he will attain the status of a god in the afterlife. It does not take long for ...more
Oct 31, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eileen Souza
Nov 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: north-america
I'll admit that I have an unhealthy fascination with polygamy and culture. I thoroughly enjoy Big Love and Sister Wives, so when I saw this book, I just had to grab it. It was a very decent book, quick read that really did dive into the culture from the perspective of two teenage girls in the community. If I could give it 3.5 stars, I would, but it didn't quite make 4 stars to me. I would also have liked to have had book club questions and additional details from the authors about their own ...more
Aug 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I find it very difficult to believe that Claire Avery did not have first-hand knowledge into the goings on of these multi-wife communities. Her descriptions are so clear that I can see the places her characters go. I feel what they feel and see what they see. Her characters are also believable, scary, and loveable. On the other hand, however, knowing that this is not a first-hand account, I wonder how much of this book is based on prejudices, and how much is based on actual, documented events. ...more
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I really didn't want to like this book. I wanted an objective view of a real polygamous family, and what I got was the inner workings of a fundamentalist polygamous cult. I wanted to hate this book for all of the stereotyping of polygamy. But that didn't happen.

Instead, I loved this book. It took me inside this cult, gave me some real information as to the "rules and teachings", and a look into the thoughts and emotions of some of its members. It took me on a journey into the hell and back out
Rene Glendening
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
What a powerful book! I've heard of Polygamist communities and seen the footage on TV of them being exposed. I really didn't think much of it except that it was a lifestyle that was so very different from what I believe in. After reading this book I have a very different view on these communities and a profound sadness and disbelief that this type of living can actually occur. Although this book is a work of fiction I feel that the authors did a lot of research and portrayed as much of the truth ...more
These kind of stories both disgust me and fascinate me! Interesting modern story of polygamy!
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I was at Half-Price Books and I bought this spontaneously because I started reading it while waiting for my brother. The romance plots were unrealistic, even more so than the cult plot. However, if you want a quick, easy read about Mormon Fundamentalist cults, this one’s pretty decent.
Eva Leger
Apr 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: I don't know anyone I wouldn't recommend this to - easily crosses genres
Recommended to Eva by: found on GR
Nothing I can write here will do this book justice. I wish I was as talented with my words as the authors because maybe then there would be a chance for me to get my opinion through to the people who will see this.
I can't gush about Hidden Wives enough. I knew, before reading this, that I would love it. I had that feeling (hopefully you've had it also for a book and know what I mean!) after only seeing the cover and knowing the title. That's a great, great, super great feeling. Even though I
Trisha W.
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing. I have never read a book before and went through so many emotions all in 300 pages.
The book is about two sisters, Sara and Rachel. Sara is the plain one, the one that finds out that at just the age of fifteen she is going to be married off to her Uncle. Rachel is the beautiful one, that has numerous men wanting to marry her.
Sara and Rachel live in a Polygamist cult. Sara is unhappy all the time, she knows deep down that something is wrong with the way they are
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I find myself able to relate to these characters on more than one level. For example, the love of books that Sara has :-) and there seems to be subtle humor in Hidden Wives that is enjoyable while taking on such a serious issue. There are a couple of disturbing episodes in this book and I feel overall the author(s) handled things very well.

Quotes that stood out...
Chapter One:
"Walter Merrick has received testimony for her hand. I prayed about it and God ordained that Sara will belong to Brother
Oct 25, 2013 rated it liked it
You know, I just need to stop reading books with teenage protagonists. If they act all melodramatic and over-the-top like teenagers, I'm annoyed. If they act all "wise beyond their years" and say and do things teenagers never would, I'm annoyed. This book did a little bit of both, which -- surprise! -- made me annoyed.

Overall, this book lacks complexity. There are 2 different scenes which are clunkily used as exposition, which frankly would have been better off in some sort of note in the back.
Heather Long
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Amazing, amazing novel -- so many thoughts running together. Will have to dry the tears before I write this review.

Okay, I have had time to write the review now. You can also find the review posted at The Daily Dose: http://dailydose-fantasyromance.blogs....

I picked up this book because I found the authors fascinating and after reading the blurb on the back of the book at the tea, I was definitely curious. We're all aware of extreme religious sects and we see the stories in the news. We're
Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, signed-copy, fiction
I was completely mesmerized by the story of Rachel and Sara, two sisters raised in a polygamous fundamentalist Mormon sect. Though they have been immersed in the bizarre dogma of their religion their entire lives, circumstances eventually persuade them to make some serious decisions about remaining with a community that condones plural and often underage marriage. As events unfolded, I became more and more engrossed in every aspect of their lives. Sara wants nothing more than to continue her ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
What I Loved: This story was gripping. I was literally yelling in my head "get out" and "get out now". The authors are very good at portraying this community as one that could exist in any part of the US. While everything is fictional, it all seems very real. They do not try to "sugar coat" the different types of people that may exist in these communities and they do not "vilify" them either. The characters are who they are: good, bad, or indifferent (and there is a little of each type in this ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Sep 12, 2015 10:09AM  
Ending 1 4 Jul 13, 2015 07:18PM  
Win an Autographed Copy of Hidden Wives 1 12 Dec 05, 2014 06:53PM  

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Claire Avery is a pseudonym for Mari Hilburn, an attorney. Mari coauthored her first contemporary fiction novel, HIDDEN WIVES,with her sister, Michelle Hilburn. Mari has written a sequel to HIDDEN WIVES,which will be published in 2013. She is currently working on her next novel.
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