Very interesting debate among the readers/reviewers. However, very few of the reviews appear to be written by men. From a male perspective, I recomm..Show More »end the book.
1. I learned about the Mormon faith. I'm sure that not everything is spot on. But then again, not all of the details in Tony Hillerman's early Joe Chee books were correct. Nor the details in Alexander Upfield's Napoleon Bonaparte Australian aborigine books, either. I like to learn about real things while enjoying a good book. I feel I got more than my money's worth here. 2. I learned about being a minister’s wife. Some of the reviewers argue that she was privy to too much privileged information and thus the book isn't a reflection of Mormon reality. For me, the more interesting question is broader; what is the role of a clergy's (of any faith) spouse (male or female) vis the flock? Again, The Bishop's Wife got me thinking. 3. She used tools from her faith to solve the final crisis. She used her faith to solve two important final crises, tools that would not have been available to a Miss Marple or Ms. Fletcher. 4. Not everyone has a HEA. Thank goodness not every character had a HEA, particularly one female character. For you guys, an HEA is Happily Ever After. Common stuff in romances and feel good books. 5. Makes you care about the characters. When I want to keep reading a book to find out what happens to a character, the writer has hooked me. Mrs. Harrison did this with the female who did not have an HEA. (Identifying spoilers omitted.) 6. Women staying home for families. I'm a guy. I've had a professional career. But I'm married to a woman with a professional career. IMHO, someone has to stay home or cut back for the kids. In my personal case, I'm glad I stayed home for 5 years with two young children. In the book staying home with kids is not belittled. I'm pro-family but pro-women's rights. Politically, emotionally, I didn't have a problem with the emphasis. 7. One reviewer said it is "too churchy." I did not feel preached at.
What did I not like about The Bishop's Wife?
1. A little too stereotypical characterization of the men. Several reviewers comment that most of the men seem to be misogynists. There's some truth to the observations. 2. TDTL For you guys, this abbreviation is used by some FEMALE reviewers on the internet to describe female heroines: Too Dumb To Live. It describes a woman who keeps making the same mistake(s) over and over again without learning from the experiences. Here she makes bad assumptions about most of the men (and women) repeatedly. Put another way, she jumped to conclusions based on skimpy evidence. Repeatedly. 3. Not enough jaw dropping 'oh my gosh' plot twists where we the readers anticipate bad things happening to a lead character.
4. Details that stretch Mrs. Harrison's literary license too far: It seems totally unreal that this woman could get to her age (5 sons, 4 gone from home) without a few close women friends. Is it realistic that she got to her age without having a single female friend who suffered severe sexual abuse as a child? As others have pointed out, carrying the trauma of a DOA child for 20 years seems ... unlikely in a woman of faith.
My disclaimer: I bought the audible version of the book; I wasn't given. free copy I'm not a writer nor in the book business nor a friend of the author. I was not asked to review The Bishop's Wife. Thus, I have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Book Two of the series drove the charming quirkiness of Book One to levels too dramatic and tedious to be believable and left me questioning the chara..Show More »cters' mental health. How many times did I groan out loud, I wonder, at the quality of the writing and the plotline.
Whereas the first book was an insightful and humanizing introduction to those not familiar with Mormonism/LDS -- a learning experience I welcomed -- the second book seems to cater more to an inside population. Most disappointing, though, the characters were played out as pawns in some unfathomable divine scheme, their actions based on the absence or presence of an immediate physical or audible message from God.
I appreciate the author's commitment to bring awareness to difficult social issues faith traditions must wrestle with, and her attempt to raise a more progressive and inclusive voice to the conversation -- it's why I stuck with it to the end. But, in my estimation, the supernatural influence on top of the characters' shaky mental stability doesn't do much to shine a normalizing or healing light on already divisive issues.