Let's start with Hidden Wives by Claire Avery.
Polygamy is popular today--well, the topic of polygamy is popular (I wouldn't say that polygamy itself is getting a lot of converts). As far as I can tell, there are basically 2 major types of polygamy. There is the Big Love/Brown Family version where women wear jeans and makeup and go to the San Diego zoo to announce that the lions are also polygamists and, well, isn't that cool? Then there is the religious cult (mainly the Fundamental Latter Day Saints, although there other little cults doing this) where nasty things happen. If you want the former, turn on TLC and Sunday nights and ponder the unanswerable question of how Kody Brown got 4 women to marry him--or, frankly, how he could even find one willing to put up with him. If you want the latter, there is a veritable library of bestsellers out there for you.
Hidden Wives centers around the Fundamentalist Cult kind of polygamists. There are 2 half-sisters, who are spinsters at the ripe old age of 15, and they have to be married off. And their family is messed up. And a cute non-believer boy moves into the group when his dad decides
I'm not going to go further into the story than that--after all, if it sounds interesting to you, you should read it yourself. But I will tell you what I think of it because, well, this is my blog and it is where I tell you all what I think of things.
The story itself was great, although I didn't exactly see a lot of twists from something you'd find in a memoir about polygamy. The authors (Claire Avery is actually 2 sisters) did a good job crafting the story and luckily, you wouldn't suspect it was written by 2 different people. I thought the characters were well-written--they did an especially good job portraying people who had been brainwashed and were having to deal with harsh reality.
My problem with the book is that I thought the ending was rushed--I really wished the final chapter or so had been flushed out to 5 or 6 chapters--and the final page seemed like a cop-out to me. I know that sounds kind of cryptic, but I really don't want to ruin the ending for anyone and there is no way I can elaborate on it without doing so.
All in all, it was a solid first effort by the authors. I'd give it a B or so. I'm glad I read it, but I really have no desire to read it again or to ponder it further than I have in writing this. It did, however, hold my attention throughout, even if I found the ending a bit lacking.
Affiliated Link: Purchase this book at Amazon.
I was not solicited for this review, nor did I receive any compensation for it.