this was a really well written book. It masterly combines historical facts with modern story telling. A great audio book with all the different voices but a little complex at times. Comes together beautifully at the end!! careful if you want to listen around others...it contains hardh topic and language.
Extremely slow. I had to put it down many times and read something else before listenng to more of the book. This is definitely not worth 2 credits.
When I think Mormon, I think many wives, Utah, and a pageant in Upstate NY, pretty much in that order. This book offered an insight into the Mormon religion and customs that I hadn't heard before and much, much more than my initial thoughts of Mormonism. The book is a little difficult to follow switching from reader to reader with the various research findings, but worth the effort.
This was on my wish list for years because I really had no interest in polygamy and Mormonism, no matter how well written, and could always find something else on which to spend my credits. I am amazed at how fascinating I found this book, as I have a strong aversion to anything dealing with religion and to any sort of proselytizing. This was engaging and thought-provoking. There are two concurrent stories which deal with polygamy among the early Mormons and with a current day sect still practicing polygamy. It objectively gives a history of polygamy and why it was abolished, particularly its effects on the children involved.
Although it is a novel, one storyline reads as factual and the other as fiction. I highly recommend it.
I liked all of the voices and the stories woven together! I made the mistake of starting this during law school finals and would take little breaks to listen to bits of it but I almost couldn't stop to go back to work!
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I struggled with this novel, not because it's about polygamy, but because of the story telling mechanisms. There are multiple stories being told across different timelines. Sometimes I found this to be intriguing and added to the quality of the book and other times I just wanted it to be about one story line; hence, the indecision.
This was a great account of polygamy, past and present. The author expertly interwove a murder mystery occurring within a polygamous sect of Mormonism with memoirs and documents "written by" historical figures of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Reader note: while they sound legit, these are *all* fictional, but heavily based in research/fact.
I knew very little about Mormonism and the LDS community before reading this book. By enticing the reader by weaving two characters, stories, and communities together, Mr. Ebershoff successfully gave me a history of the church and explained the spiritual/political/social rise, impact, and fall of polygamy within its confines. It was interesting, although the "murder mystery" part lacked drama or suspense, and, being the only entirely fictional part of the story, felt a little forced and left me disinterested.
I have to say, I wish I had read (with eyes) this book. The narrators were unoffensive, but their constantly swapping chapters was distracting at best, especially when the chapter titles were announced by someone other than the speaker; therefore, it would always take me a few sentences to figure out if I was past/present/scholarly, etc. I imagine font changes would have eliminated this confusion in written text.
Overall, if this is a culture you are interested in, give it a read! It's accessible, light, and thorough!
If you like psychotic religion, this is for you. Couldn't stomach the likely fact-based abuse of women and boys by this religious cult. After numerous hours, couldn't find any redeeming features and gave up.