Sunday, August 31, 2008

The 19th Wife

The 19th Wife
David Ebershoff
3 out of 5

Fact, Fiction and Innuendo

Told in a back and forth style with many voices, Ebershoff tells the story of Ann Eliza Young who being the 19th wife of Brigham Young decides that polygamy isn’t for her and decides to do the unthinkable and file for divorce. Interspersed with this story is the story of BeckyLyn also a 19th wife of modern day who is accused of killing her husband, and her son Jordan, one of the Lost Boys, who is trying to clear her name and get her out of Mesadale, the compound she lives in with the other Firsts; the break off group that still follows the old tradition of polygamy.

Have I lost you yet?

There is also Kelly Dee the student researcher that is trying to pull the life of Ann Eliza together for her masters thesis who is telling the story, in a round about way, through all the characters and who is also trying to decipher the goings on and hoping to separate fact from fiction.

Though this is a book of fiction, there is enough history to make you wonder what is real and what is embellished for a better story. In this multiple character driven novel, Ebershoff reaches into the world that Smith and Young created and how dominate they were over their followers. Whether truth or innuendo, the story makes a very slow progress to a conclusion that really wasn’t a conclusion, just a good place to stop.

Amazon Review:

No comments: