Review: Sister Wife

sisterwifeTitle:  Sister Wife

Author:  Shelley Hrdlitschka

# of Pages:  176

Published:  October 1, 2008

ISBN:  978-1551439273

My rating:  3.5/5

Sister Wife is set in the fictional community of Unity, a polygamous, religious community seemingly based on the real-life FLDS church.  The book centers around three young girls in the community – Celeste, Nanette, and Taviana.

Celeste is fifteen and about to be married, as soon as the Prophet determines who she’s supposed to be with.  While this should be an exciting time in her life, she is beginning to question her faith and doesn’t feel like marriage is what she should be doing at this point in her life – she yearns to get an education and become a veterinarian.  What’s more, a boy her age in the community has started to notice her… and she isn’t shying away from his attention.  Nanette is Celeste’s younger sister, almost fourteen, and the two girls couldn’t be more opposite.  Nanette is very secure in her faith; she believes wholeheartedly in the principles of Unity and she’s very jealous of her sister – she wants to get married now too, not in a year or two.  Taviana is seventeen and not originally from Unity.  She was a homeless teenager when one of the elders in the community found her and volunteered to “adopt” her; she then became part of a Unity family and she was raised as a teenage girl in that family just as the rest of the girls.  But Tavian’s past might just be a little too dark for the community members to forgive her for, and soon they start worrying that she is poisoning the minds of other teens, especially Celeste.

I found Sister Wife to be an enjoyable read.  Overall, I thought it was good but not great.  The succession of events definitely kept me interested, and I cared enough about the characters to want to know what would happen to them and to hope for them all to find peace and happiness in this lifestyle that I personally cannot understand.  What keeps Sister Wife from being better than just good is that I don’t feel it was very deep.  I can’t put my finger on exactly what was missing, but I suppose I expected a lot from a book about three teen girls in a fictional polygamous community, and it simply didn’t live up to my expectations.  There just wasn’t a lot here besides daily activities and thoughts of these three girls.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad book by any means, it was just lacking a certain something for my personal tastes.

I’d still recommend Sister Wife, it actually was a good book, it just won’t be making any of my favorites lists anytime soon.

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