Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sister Wife

So I was asked in one of my blog comments whether or not I was going to do a review on this book. I normally don't do reviews just because I'm really not great at them. I've never gotten the knack of writing without spoiling and up until recently I never wrote much of anything. So I'm going to try and do a review albeit a short one.

Synopsis (Amazon):
In the isolated rural community of Unity, the people of The Movement live a simple life guided by a set of religious principles and laws that are unique to them. Polygamy is the norm, strict obedience is expected and it is customary for young girls to be assigned to much older husbands. Celeste was born and raised in Unity, yet she struggles to fit in. Perhaps it's because of Taviana, the girl who has come to live with them and entertains Celeste with forbidden stories, or Jon, the young man she has clandestine meetings with, or maybe it's the influence of Craig, the outsider she meets on the beach. Whatever it is, she struggles to accept her ordained life. At fifteen she is repulsed at the thought of being assigned to an older man and becoming a sister wife, and she knows for certain she is not cut out to raise children. She wants something more for herself, yet feels powerless to change her destiny because rebelling would bring shame upon her family. Celeste watches as Taviana leaves Unity, followed by Jon, and finally Craig, the boy who has taught her to think "outside the box." Although she is assigned to a caring man, his sixth wife, she is desperately unhappy. How will Celeste find her way out of Unity? Torn from the headlines and inspired by current events, Sister Wife is a compelling portrait of a community where the laws of the outside world are ignored and where individuality is punished.

The book is told from 3 different perspective and while it was hard to adjust myself to flopping back and forth, it really puts an interesting spin on character viewpoints.

What I loved:
I loved the character Craig, the outsider who through his building of inukshuks*, shows the Celeste another perspective on life.
After I got used to the character flopping, I really enjoyed this aspect and I think it added to the overall story and made parts of it flow much better.
I think the author did a great job with showing us the struggles that Celeste went through. Her inner thought battles with right and wrong.

What I didn't like:
Certain parts of the story seemed unlikely to happen. Not to say they wouldn't happen but from what you hear/read in news stories, they seem a little more unrealistic. Did those necessarily take away from the story? A little bit but not enough to stop me from reading.

Overall rating:
Even with the few minor details that irked me I really enjoyed this book. I read it in just a few days and for me that is really quick. I don't get much time in the summer to read and to get it done in a few days says something positive for the book.

Would I recommend this book:
Definitely with some warnings as to subject matter.

* inukshuks - Amazing stone statues


avisannschild said...

Well for somebody who doesn't write many reviews, you've done a fine job with this one! I recently reviewed this book as well and I completely agree with both of your assessments. Craig was one of my favourite characters too and I thought he was a great way to introduce Celeste to an outsider's perspective. And I also thought there were major plot elements that seemed very unlikely, which for me did detract from my enjoyment of the novel.