Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut, 5 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Sisterwives (Paperback)
I bought a copy of this at a recent literary event, and have just finished reading it.

This is a really interesting and complex book; though the main narrative concentrates on the plural marriage between Tobias and his two wives Rebecca and Amarantha, there are other, wider themes in the book. Like in Twin Peaks, everyone in Marah seems to have a secret...

Alternating between events in the current day and the past, the writer skilfully takes you through the beginnings of the community, and the childhoods of some of its main characters. The relationships between some of the senior members of the community are shown, and little by little new information comes to light. The reader is often challenged to think again, and gains increasing sympathy for each of the characters.

It becomes clear that the community is far from the idyllic place for which the original settlers had hoped. Many of its main characters feel embittered and trapped by the community's pressures. Old resentments and hypocrisies come to light, and it is clear how fragilely the community rests upon the shoulders of every single inhabitant, and their continuing marriages (no matter how unhappy they may be).

Thus, it's not just a book about the plural marriage, but also a book about expectation, about desire, and about community. The style has echoes of Atwood about it, but not too much; the writer has quite a unique and distinctive voice. It's definitely worth a look if you're looking for something character-driven, intelligent, and thought-provoking.
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4.8 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews)
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Location: Leeds, UK

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