The 19th Wife

The 19th Wife - David Ebershoff From the product description: “It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of her family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how both she and her mother became plural wives. Yet soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death. And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love, family, and faith.”

It took me quite a while to get through this book, not because it wasn’t interesting, but because I kept putting it down and coming back to it. The insight into polygamy is fascinating, especially told in so many voices. We all have our own opinions, but it was fascinating to hear the history and rationale behind it from “people” involved in the life. Ann Eliza Young was indeed the 19th wife of Mormon leader Brigham Young. Divorcing him she and her children became non-persons as far as the Mormon community was concerned. With no support system from church or family she made it her life’s work to try and end polygamy. Although this work is fiction, some of her story is included and makes for quite eye opening reading.