The 19th Wife

Book cover of Book cover via AmazonI just finished reading The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.  This is the second book I have read of Ebershoff.  The first was the Danish Girl.  I really enjoyed them both.

The 19th Wife weaves fact and fiction together, back and forth, about the Mormon religion and polygamy.  The book brought to mind watching the Zion Texan ranch recently raided by police breaking up the polygamist cult, the children and the women were like something out of the 18th century.  The book is long but kept my interest from page one.  One story is focused on modern day.  A son who had been kicked out of the cult, as well as others we meet along the way, for possibly just being boys who take away the young women, a murder and the disconnect from society today.  The other story which is supposed fact focuses on Brigham Young and his 19th wife who divorces herself from the polygamy society and tells the world about what is happening in Utah.  Then there is a third story in there of someone writing the book about the history of polygamy.  A really well written book that gets to the heart of something that still exists in America today.  The brainwashing, the plight of the children, the insanity that isn't about religion but something else much deeper.  Worth reading.

His other book, is worth picking up too.  The Danish Girl is loosely based on 2 Danish artists in the 1930's and their relationship.  Einar, the husband, undergoes the world's first sex change operation.  We read about the couples relationship, certainly gender issues and how through it all they supported each other and remained friends.  An unusual marriage particularly more unusual knowing that is took place in the 30's. 

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