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Hidden Wives: A Novel Paperback – June 8, 2010
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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. (June)
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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
Top customer reviews
Sara and Rachel come from such a household. They have four mothers and one very abusive father. But he is "god" of his house and his word is law.. At 16 years of age, Sara and Rachel are waiting their betrothals. Sara is dismayed to discover she must marry her own uncle. Rachel is beautiful and of course, seventeen different men receive "testments from god" that they are designated to be her husband. Thus, her fate remains in the balance. May the richest "man of god" win.
Sara find herself "buried in truth" (I'm not going to explain that terminology cause it would ruin the story) and begins to think for herself. Does she want to marry her uncle and have deformed babies? No. She wants an education. She wants to read books. She is a headstrong girl and finds herself meeting a young boy from outside the community, a black boy. Here's the deal: Blood of the Lamb community claims that black people are animals.. they are spawn of Satan. (Have you ever heard a more smelly pile of bull crap?) Irvin is his name and he begins to open Sara's eyes even more. There may be a future outside Blood of the Lamb community for her .. Will it involve Irvin?
Rachel is not quite as strong as Sara and she is completely brainwashed by this cult. She will do anything she is told despite her strong her love for a new young man, Luke. With seventeen men claiming "god" wants her to be their wife and 4 of them high ranking apostles, Luke doesn't stand a chance. When Luke speaks his mind and attempts to fight for Rachel, things go sour. Will Rachel ever see the light or is she destined to become wife number 51 to some dirty old brainwashed man?
Sara won't leave without Rachel and women are disposable. Could they even get away if they tried.. without losing their lives? The ending is surprising. Let's just say the you-know-what hits the fan!
An amazing, thought evoking novel. It shocked me to the core. I couldn't decide whether to laugh, cry, scream or gasp half the time. It is well written and really makes one ponder religion and how much people will exploit it. Def one the best reads of 2010.
escape by Carolyn Jessup and I read it twice and from there I read a lot of them.
This one Hidden Wives was very good and unbelievable that all this goes on. I couldn't put it down. Liked it very much. I would like to read some more, but have read a lot and not to many left. Any suggestions.
Sara is told that she is to marry her uncle, while Rachel's case proves to be more difficult. Sixteen men claim to have received testimonies for the beautiful Rachel, all wishing to add the shy teenager to their horde of wives. As a bidding war of sorts erupts for her hand in marriage, Rachel meets and falls in love with Luke, a recent arrival at Blood of the Lamb. Moved to the reservation by his father who suddenly found religion, Luke finds his new lifestyle ridiculous. Nevertheless, he puts up with the demands to please Rachel who is indoctrinated by her upbringing and deeply believes in the Blood of the Lamb teachings. She hopes against hope that the Prophet will consider her own testimony to marry Luke, and will allow her to become a first wife to the man she loves.
When the Prophet announces Rachel's future husband, tensions run high and the girls' already abusive father finds yet another outlet for his rage. While Sara knows that she must leave the community and her family behind for any chance at a normal life, she must also convince Rachel to join her before their fates are sealed...
Written by the sister team of Mari Hilburn and Michelle Poche (pseudonym Claire Avery), who were raised in a fundamentalist Catholic community in Chicago, Hidden Wives is an intricate look into what life might be like for those born into a fundamentalist sect.
To say that I enjoyed Hidden Wives would be an understatement. Some fiction can stagnate in favor of flowery language or unnecessarily long descriptions; while Hidden Wives was well written and informative, the story within was never dull. If you're used to reading several books at a time, be prepared to make Hidden Wives your sole occupation until the last page!
Let me just say this... even though the two sisters are fictional characters, there is in fact NO fiction in this book. Those familiar with FLDS would read it and tell you that they know at least a few people or families within the sect that would fit in the skin of these girls.
FLDS is a reality, their practices are reality. Yes, it is indeed hard to believe that in this time and age things like these can happen, especially in modern day United States.
It is a very well written book, it outlines very clearly the abuse, jealousy, incest that goes on in many FLDS communities.
Great read, I would recommend it to anyone who would like to learn more about FLDS, and please remember: although it has fictional characters, there is really no fiction in this book.
Most recent customer reviews
But it was very predictable. There were no surprises.