What if the man you loved told you God wanted him to take another wife? What if that woman was your best friend?Set in the heart of the earliest days of a new nineteenth-century sect known as the Saints, The Sister Wife is a riveting account of two women forced into a practice they don't understand, bound by their devotion to Prophet Joseph Smith. When Mary Rose marries Gabriel, neither of them could foresee how quickly the community would turn to the practice of plural marriage. Devastated when Gabe is faced with an order from the Prophet to marry her best friend, Bronwyn, Mary Rose tries to have the faith to carry through with the marriage. But can she really be married to the same man as her very best friend? Can Mary Rose and Bronwyn face betraying both their husband and their God to do what they feel is right?
My take: So many possibilities with such an interesting historical time and story. I really liked the concept of writing a book using protagonists from the early Mormon pioneer perspective. Unfortunately, I never really learned to care about any of the characters in the novel. They seemed one dimensional to me. Similar to Harlequin Romances I read when I was a teenager but cleaner (which I appreciated). It seemed like the story jumped from experience to conclusion far too quickly. For instance, Mary Rose and Gabe meet on a ship. Within a couple of days, they witness a contrived miracle and, without knowing the church doctrine, Gabe is ready to convert and the couple are declaring their undying love for one another and are married within days.
The book is not without merit. It has historical value and, I believe, the author has promise. I'd probably wait to buy it on sale.
My thanks to Harper-Collins publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.