Series: Brides of Gabriel #1
Author: Diane Noble
Publication Date: 2010
**Special thanks to Stephanie Selah at HarperCollins for sending me a review copy of this book.**
We live what has been termed the “burned over” district after Charles Finney’s revivals swept through the area in the early 19th century. Several cults were also formed in upstate, NY including Mormonism. If you’re offended that I called it a cult or if you want more information, see this site for my reasoning: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/terms.html. Joseph Smith claimed to have found the golden plates 15 minutes from my house.
The Sister Wife does a very good job of portraying the truth of the early days of Mormonism, when polygamy was practiced by its founders. Noble does so in a way that is tasteful. I didn’t expect to identify with the characters as much as I did, but I really found myself routing for Mary Rose and Bronwyn.
Mary Rose’s grandfather is fascinated with the practices of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and decides to relocate from England to the American West in order to follow what he believes to be the truth. Mary Rose is in for a major shock as she goes from an upper-middle class English maiden to a Mormon “Sister” in the rough Old West. As she interprets a miracle she sees on the ship, she comes to believe that Mormonism is true. But accept her husband taking a second wife?
I found the characters in this book compelling and believable. Noble doesn’t glorify this lifestyle. However, although she continually “alludes” to the truth I would have liked to see biblical Christianity play more of a role in the story than it did. I will continue on with the series as many of the issues of questioning the Mormon faith came to a head at the end of the book, so I am expecting Christian themes to become more prominent as the series progresses.