- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062074040
- ISBN-13: 978-0062074041
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,557,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage Hardcover – September 13, 2011
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“Eye-opening and courageous.” (Kirkus)
“The Dargers tell their story with candor and an aching authencity.” (Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, creators of HBO's BIG LOVE)
“A remarkably candid and plainspoken account...this unassuming book opens the door on plural marriage... (Library Journal)
From the Back Cover
He runs his own business and coaches Little League. She drives a minivan, and she’d be lost without her trusty BlackBerry. They go on date nights. Their kids attend public schools, play sports, and take music lessons. They live in a roomy house in the ’burbs. They’re about as mainstream as families come....They’re also polygamists.
For decades, polygamous families have been forced to hide their lifestyle. Men risk prosecution and economic blacklisting, and women face social isolation and faulty assumptions about what it means to live as a sister wife. But Love Times Three, the first-ever memoir of a polygamous family, is a riveting inside look at a world most of us can hardly imagine, revealing the extraordinary workings of the Dargers’ day-to-day life.
Independent Fundamentalist Mormons, the Dargers grew up in polygamous families, and by the time they were in high school, they knew they wanted to live the Principle themselves. But in a highly unusual situation, even for their culture, both Alina and Vicki expressed interest in Joe at the same time. They ultimately courted him together, and married him on the same day. Valerie, Vicki’s twin sister, joined the marriage ten years later.
The Dargers move the conversation away from child brides, Warren Jeffs, and the FLDS to more mainstream polygamists who willingly enter into plural relationships as adults. Rather than living in isolated communities, Independent Fundamentalist Mormons are similar to an average American family—except for their family structure.
In this intimate, inside story, the Dargers explain why they chose this path despite the pressures of keeping their relationships secret and the jealousy and personal challenges that naturally ensue, why they believe polygamy should be an accepted lifestyle, and, ultimately, why they hope that by revealing their way of life in public, laws that criminalize their lifestyle might change.
Written in the voices of the four parents, Love Times Three is the story of one man, his three wives, and their twenty-four children as they live out their faith in a world of prejudice, misconception, and fear, including a chapter on the sister wife dynamic, one from Joe on how he juggles his three distinct romantic relationships, and a chapter from three of their children, called “My Three Moms.” Despite the risk of legal action, the Dargers know that it’s time to counteract Hollywood’s sensational interpretation and correct the general public’s misunderstanding of polygamy with the truth. Now, for the first time, Joe, Alina, Vicki, and Valerie Darger lift the veil on their so-called taboo way of life.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a candy-coated version. Interesting at times, but mostly boring.
I first heard of the Dargers when they appeared on the TV show Sister Wives a couple of weeks ago in an episode where they take a vacation with the Brown family. (Of course I immediately Googled them and that's how I found out they have a book out.) Apparently, they've been friends with the Browns for a couple of years. Like the Browns, they are trying to take the stigma out of being polygamists by going public with their lifestyle.
I appreciated that this book went more in depth on the religious reasoning behind polygamy. Joe and his wives quote Mormon scripture as well as other important church documents like the Doctrine and Covenants when explaining the Principle of polygamy and why they have chosen the live the Principle. (Polygamy is also referred to as the Principle, plural marriage, or celestial marriage.) Also, in the back of the book, the different Fundamentalist Mormon communities are listed with a brief description that includes where they are located and what makes them different from each other.
I don't want this review to turn into a theological debate but I feel I have to point out one inconsistency I found with the Principle as I understand it: People who live the Principle will achieve the highest level of heaven and live together as a family for all eternity. The Principle helps women to become more Christ-like, and thus deserving of the highest level of heaven, because sharing their husbands will help them overcome petty emotions like jealousy and ultimately make them more selfless people. It's a daily sacrifice. However, even though this is the sixth book on polygamy I've read, I can't figure out how living the Principle makes men more Christ-like. The only thing this book said was that Joe didn't have any time for hobbies or outside interests because he had so many wives and kids that he needed to spend time with. It seems imbalanced to me.
That said, how consenting adults choose to live is with me as long as no one gets hurt. The Dargers make a good point that many of the abuses that occur in polygamist communities may occur because of the secretive life polygamists are forced to live. If they could live openly, perhaps the abuse would be harder to cover up.
I liked that three of the Dargers' older children (one from each mom) contributed to the book. Most accounts I've seen from children who grew up in polygamy are negative ones where the children suffered abuse. The Dargers' children seem happy and well-adjusted.
Like the Browns, the Dargers seem to be on the more liberal side of Fundamentalist Mormonism. As I am still quite intrigued with the polygamist lifestyle, I enjoyed this peek into the Dargers lives. Recommended for Nosy Rosies like me.