[the book fiend]

Let's talk about something other than Snowjam 2014, shall we? More specifically let's talk about one of my favorite topics: books!!

This week's book review is on David Ebershoff's The 19th Wife

Ebershoff's novel explores the world of polygamy in the early Mormon church and in current cults such as the FLDS group that has split away from the main Mormon church. The historical aspect is shown through excerpts from the autobiography of Anna Webb Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, one of the early leaders of the church. Anna tells the story of her parent's conversion, her own childhood, and her eventual marriage to Young. Along with the excerpts from her published autobiography, Ebershoff weaves in excerpts from letters written by Anna's father. On the current side, Ebershoff creates a fictional tale of a young man (Jordan Scott) who returns to the cult compound he was thrown out of after learning that his mother is accused of murdering his father. Scott returns to visit his mother in jail and soon finds himself in the midst of a complicated murder mystery. 

So obviously I went on a bit of a polygamy kick for a while there. While I greatly enjoyed Ebershoff's book, I would recommend Under the Banner of Heaven over this one. The non-fiction excerpts were absolutely fascinating but the fictional story fell a little flat for me. It felt a little too forced. The fictional portion wasn't horribly bad, but I thought it could have been done better. I did really like how Ebershoff wove the elements together though. That part didn't feel awkward at all and the two portions did work well together. 

At the end of the day, while it wasn't my favorite book, I would still recommend it for someone looking for a less intense, and slightly different, exploration of polygamy and the Mormon church. 

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