Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Jordan Smith’s estranged mom is accused of murdering her polygamous husband.  He goes to visit her in jail and realizes she’s innocent.  He was kicked out of the community of Firsts in Mesadale where she lives when he was a teen but must go back to free his mom.  In addition to Jordan’s story the author tells the tale of Ann Eliza Young, Brigham Young’s so called “19th wife”.  She did exist and helped eliminate polygamy from the Mormon religion in the late nineteenth century.  Rich with history and interesting relationships, this book raises emotional and ethical questions that don’t have easy answers.