Katrina's Reviews > Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist's Wife

Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer
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's review
Oct 19, 2010

it was amazing

This was my book club's pick for the month and my first foray into the topic of polygamy. This has been a hot button issue lately around here because of the TLC reality show "Sister Wives" about a polygamist family in Lehi. I am admittedly fascinated that there are still people who chose to live this lifestyle today, so reading this book was very interesting and educational.

Irene Spencer married at 16 and became the second wife of Verlan LeBaron. He would eventually have 10 wives, altough when he died in his early 50s four of the 10 had left him. Irene stays married to him until his death--28 years of marriage spend in utter poverty and loneliness much of the time. She has 13 or 14 children with Verlan. Poor girl was extremely fertile!

The book is very well written. It reads like a novel. Irene is full of spunk and has a great sense of humor. Your heart really goes out to her. She honestly felt that she had to be in a polygamous marriage in order to be exalted in heaven. She was never really happy although er husband actually isn't a bad guy. He's just incapable of supporting so many people. He ended up having nearly 60 children!

As an active Mormon, I especially found the Fundamentalist's beliefs really interesting. It was bizarre to see how they have the same scriptures and doctrine and yet its just twisted enough to support such different interpretations.

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