19th Wife

ISBN-10: 0812974158
ISBN-13: 9780812974157
Edition: 2009
Authors: David Ebershoff
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Description: Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain. Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff'sThe 19th Wifecombines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 6/2/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 544
Size: 5.23" wide x 8.00" long x 1.11" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain. Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff'sThe 19th Wifecombines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family's polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife. Soon after Ann Eliza's story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfoldsa tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father's death. And as Ann Eliza's narrative intertwines with that of Jordan's search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith. From the Hardcover edition.

David Ebershoff is the author of "The Danish Girl" and the publishing director of "The Modern Library". Hi newest book is entitled, "The 19th Wife."

Two Wives
In the one year since I renounced my Mormon faith, and set out to tell the nation the truth about American polygamy, many people have wondered why I ever agreed to become a plural wife. Everyone I meet, whether farmer, miner, railman, professor, cleric, or the long-faced Senator, and most especially the wives of these-everyone wants to know why I would submit to a marital practice so filled with subjugation and sorrow. When I tell them my father has five wives, and I was raised to believe plural marriage is the will of God, these sincere people often ask, But Mrs. Young-how could you believe such a claim? Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain. Now, with the publication of this autobiography, my enemies will no doubt suspect my motives. Having survived attempts on both my life and character, however, I stand unconcerned by their assaults. I have chosen to commit my memories to the page neither for fame, the trough from which I have drunk and would be happy never to return to, nor fortune, although it is true I am without home and have two small boys to care for. Simply, I wish to expose the tragic state of polygamy's women, who must live in a bondage not seen in this country since the abolishment of slavery a decade ago; and to reveal the lamentable situation of its children, lonely as they are. I promise my Dear Reader I shall recount my story truthfully, even when it distresses me to do so. In these pages you will come to know my mother, who by religious duty welcomed four wives into her husband's bed. You will encounter the old woman forced to share her husband with a girl one-fifth her age. And you shall meet the gentleman with so many wives that when one approaches him on the street, he answers, "Madame, do I know you?" I can, and will, go on. Under what circumstances does such outrage thrive? The Territory of Utah, glorious as it may be, spiked by granite peaks and red jasper rocks, cut by echoing canyons and ravines, spread upon a wide basin of gamma grass and wandering streams, this land of blowing snow and sand, of iron, copper, and the great salten sea-Utah, whose scarlet-golden beauty marks the best of God's handiwork-the Territory of Utah stands defiant as a Theocracy within the borders of our beloved Democracy, imperium in imperio. I write not for sensation, but for Truth. I leave judgment to the hearts of my good Readers everywhere. I am but one, yet to this day countless others lead lives even more destitute and enslaved than mine ever was. Perhaps my story is the exception because I escaped, at great risk, polygamy's conjugal chains; and that my husband is the Mormon Church's Prophet and Leader, Brigham Young, and I am his 19th, and final, wife. Sincerely Yours, Ann Eliza Young Summer 1874

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