From Publishers Weekly
This undistinguished debut by the pseudonymous Avery (two sisters who were raised in a fundamentalist Catholic community) focuses on a horrifically oppressive Utah religious sect.Â Young female members of Blood of the Lamb, like sisters Sara and Rachel Shaw, are generally wedded by the age of 15, assigned to be sealed for all time and all eternity in a celestial marriage. Male members, by contrast, can only attain the highest level of heaven by taking at least three wives.Â Prophet Silver, the movement's leader, decrees that Sara must marry her father's half-brother, and singles out the attractive Rachel for his own special attention. Both girls, after exposure to the outside world, consider leaving the community. The violence, sexual abuse, and the predictable consequences of inbreeding aren't for the faint of heart, but readers should also be prepared for more melodrama than drama. Betty Webb does a better job with the contemporary polygamy theme in Desert Lost
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"Avery's captivating story set in the world of polygamy depicts the struggles of two teenage girls deciding whether to follow beliefs ingrained in them from birth. A compelling plot, authentic characters, and a genuine love story make this a great read."--RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars)
"Though fiction, Hidden Wives reads like a first-hand, eyewitness account of polygamist lifestyle... a suspenseful page turner you can't afford to miss."--Irene Spencer, New York Times bestselling author of Shattered Dreams
"A poignant yet realistic tale of family love, loyalty, and dysfunction set in a ripped-from-the-headlines polygamist cult. This is no watered-down Big Love but a gripping foray into the realities of family ties that strangle. Hidden Wives is an engrossing insider's look into a world where faith is confused with religion, but where the powerful bond between two sisters and their search for justice succeeds in restoring faith in us all."--Karen White, award-winning author of The Lost Hours
"Hidden Wives is a compelling story that rivets the reader's attention from start to finish. With searing insight, Avery manages to capture the all too real horrors which girls and women must endure inside fundamentalist Mormon and Christian polygamist cults."--Andrea Moore-Emmett, award-winning author of God's Brothel