The 19th Wife

by David Ebershoff | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780812974157 Global Overview for this book
Registered by therubycanary of Cape Elizabeth, Maine USA on 8/18/2009
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9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by therubycanary from Cape Elizabeth, Maine USA on Tuesday, August 18, 2009
An amazing combination of historical fiction and modern day mystery. ElizaAnn is the 19th wife of early mormon prophet Brigham Young. She leaves him and starts a nation wide campaign to end polygamy in the US in the late 1800s. A woman ahead of her time, and a fierce advocate against abuse and for women's rights.

In a parallel story, Jordan, a gay "lost boy" is left on the highway leading to his town by his sobbing mother when he is 14. She was told he needed to leave the town and the church for not following strict orders, and his punishment (and hers for not being a better mother) is abandonment. After much research, Ebershoff re-creates using true stories what it is like to live in a mormon commune in Utah today. From strange practices, to sexual abuse, to complete and utter control of women and children, to murder of men who don't follow suit, it paints a morbid picture of practices that I'm sure most of America don't realize are happening right under their noses.

Journal Entry 2 by therubycanary from Cape Elizabeth, Maine USA on Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Book mailed to HoserLauren as part of a www.bookobsessed.com swap.

Journal Entry 3 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Wow that's some quick mail from Korea. If I tried sending in the opposite direction I have no doubt it would take months!

Looking forward to this one. Thanks!

Journal Entry 4 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The 19th Wife flips between a modern day murder mystery within a polygamous family and 1875 with Ann Eliza, the 19th wife of Brigham Young. In present day, an ex-communicated member of the church Jordan comes back to Utah after his mother is accused of killing his father. Jordan is a member of the First Latter-Day Saints and was kicked out after found holding the hands of one of his many step-sisters from his large family. Jordan is hesitant to come back to a place he's put behind himself but he wants to find the truth.

At the same time, the story follows Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young who divorces Brigham and turns her religion upside down. Her story is told from many different perspectives including her own autobiography, her dad's story, letters from her son, essays from scholars, and others. Ann Eliza argues that no woman could possibly want to be in a plural marriage if given the choice and not told that their salvation depends on it. Brigham Young states that he has been told that plural marriage will ensure your salvation and the (in my opinion) ridiculous argument that with plural marriage, the sin of adultery is eliminated. Of course it is.

This book gives an interesting look into the First Latter-Day Saints; both historically and present day. I found it easier to connect with Jordan than Ann Eliza because Ann Eliza felt more distant, maybe because she was trying to protect herself? I felt like there were a lot of unnecessary characters in the novel though. Jordan picks up a runaway who is also an ex-communicated Firsts member who really doesn't add much to the story. Furthermore, despite the entire book being quite engaging, I was disappointed in the ending and found myself skimming through it.

Journal Entry 5 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, June 22, 2010
This book is with me now :)

Journal Entry 6 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, July 15, 2010
This story is about two 19th wives. The first is Ann Eliza Young , the 19th wife of Brigham Young. Ann Eliza divorced Brigham in the late 1800s and started a crusade against polygamous marriages. The story is told of how both Ann and her mother were forced into their plural marriages. Her father also tells a bit of his own story and her brothers are also included. This is all told from historical accounts of the time. An interesting tidbit is the story of a present day writer trying to get ahold of these accounts. The Latter Day Saints (LDS) church is very reluctant to re-visit such a troubled time in their history.

The second story is in the present time. In a commune of Firsts , a sect that still believes in polygamy. Jason's father is killed and his mother is accused of the murder. Jason was kicked out of the commune at age 14 for holding hands with a girl. Jason returns to try and discover what really happened and to try and clear his mother of the crime.

This book points out the crimes involved in polygamy, the violence behind trying to maintain one's way of life, the sexual abuse and the abuse and neglect the children must put up with. I was intrigued with the history of the LDS but horrified by the total neglect of the woman's and children's human rights. There were a number of extraneous story lines that lead nowhere and were not of any consequence in the story. Jason's love interest and the runaway being but two of them. I still found the story very interesting though.

Journal Entry 7 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Mailed today as part of a book relay!

Journal Entry 8 by itpdx at Portland, Oregon USA on Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Received today with a beautiful post card of the Canadian Niagra Falls. Thank you.

Journal Entry 9 by itpdx at Portland, Oregon USA on Sunday, December 26, 2010
This is a very readable and interesting book. In two threads this book uses "historic" documents to follow the life of Ann Eliza, whose parents were early converts to the LDS church, and was married to Brigham Young (his 19th wife) and a young, gay "lost boy" who has been ejected from the FLDS community in modern times. His mother also a 19th wife has been accused of killing his father. Based on my reading of a nonfiction account of FLDS life, Escape, David Ebershoff is fairly accurate about what life is like in a FLDS enclave. His depiction of a woman that escaped Brigham Young and campaigned to end polygamy in the US is interesting. His modern story is lively and has a number of twists and turns but also some holes. It would be a sort of average mystery without the setting.

Journal Entry 10 by itpdx at Book Relay, Book Relay -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, December 26, 2010

Released 8 yrs ago (12/28/2010 UTC) at Book Relay, Book Relay -- Controlled Releases

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being mailed to collectorkerri as part of the Keep It Going Reverse Wish List Relay

Journal Entry 11 by wingcollectorkerriwing at Springfield, Illinois USA on Monday, January 03, 2011
Received today. Thanks, itpdx!

Journal Entry 12 by wingcollectorkerriwing at Springfield, Illinois USA on Thursday, January 17, 2013
As some others have said, there were some holes in this story but overall it was an interesting look into the lives of polygamous families. I have an interest in Mormon history, but found this book to be confusing in that respect because I was unclear on which, if any, of the historical documents were real (I don't think any of them were).

Passing on to KiwiinEngland as part of my monthly RABCK drawing. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 13 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 28, 2013
Thank you so much for this RABCK. 2013 seems to be the year of Mormon books for me, as this is the second one I've received recently!

Journal Entry 14 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Thursday, April 25, 2013
An interesting topic, and at times this book was very interesting to read. However just as I was fully engaged with one of the stories the author cut into the second, which made the process of reading rather jarring. The academic papers were at times too unstructured in their writing to be considered authentic.

The continual adoration of the dogs annoyed me, who would stop right outside a house they believed held the truth about their mother's innocence to spend an hour with their dog?

Journal Entry 15 by wingkiwiinenglandwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (5/2/2013 UTC) at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

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Veganmedusa is visiting from Invercargill, so some of the Wellington bookcrossers are meeting up for lunch. I'll be taking this book along to see if anyone is keen to read it.

Journal Entry 16 by wingEdwardstreetwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Thursday, May 02, 2013
Picked up at a lunch time meetup

Journal Entry 17 by wingEdwardstreetwing at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 12, 2015
This well travelled book as been on Mt TBR for some time. I have now read it as part of the 666 and USA States challenges,
Two stories, a 100 years apart, both connected to the LDS sect, both featuring polygamy.
This is a novel and the historical documents are not real, I need to research to check how close to the truth the story of Ann Eliza Young is.
The modern story was given less attention and I wanted more.
In these days of religious intolerance, and outrageous acts committed by fanatics in the names of their gods, this was pertinent. The abuses of women and children and sexual depravity given credibility by religion are familiar themes in our media.
Atheism is the way for me.

Journal Entry 18 by wingEdwardstreetwing at Chicago Bar in Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Thursday, February 05, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (2/10/2015 UTC) at Chicago Bar in Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Enjoy

Journal Entry 19 by daisy-a-day at Petone Railway Station in Petone, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, February 23, 2015

Released 4 yrs ago (2/23/2015 UTC) at Petone Railway Station in Petone, Wellington Province New Zealand

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Released to Petone Station waiting room. Enjoy this book. If you have books at home that you are happy to release into the wild for others to read, register it through the website at Bookcrossing .com and just leave them on the windowsill in the station.
Bookcrossers in Wellington meet on the second Tuesday of each month at Chicago Bar on the Wellington waterfront about 5.30pm. Join us, we are usually easy to recognise by the pile of books on the table that we bring along to swap.

Journal Entry 20 by J-marie at Petone, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, May 10, 2015
Picked this book up from petone railway station a few weeks back. I'm about half way through and enjoying it a lot so far.

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