Book Description: “Fifteen-year-old Sara and her beautiful sister, Rachel, are too young to legally drive a car—but are approaching spinsterhood in Utah’s secret polygamist Blood of the Lamb community. Having long since reached the “age of preparedness,” they will soon be married off to much older men selected by the hidden sect’s revered Prophet.
As Sara, chosen to become her uncle’s fifth wife, grows more distraught over her impending incestuous marriage, she begins to scrutinize the faith she has followed blindly her entire life.
But for Rachel, who will be married to one of the many powerful community leaders vying for her hand, disobeying the Prophet means eternal damnation. Her friendship with the newest member of the community, the young and handsome Luke, starts as an attempt to save his agnostic soul, but ends with the pair falling helplessly in love. When Rachel is forbidden to see him, her absolute faith in the Prophet is severely tested.
When Rachel’s future husband is finally announced, violence erupts, and the girls must find the strength to escape the only life they have ever known…before it’s too late.”
Hidden Wives is a book that grabs you and refuses to let go from the very beginning. Emotionally it’s gripping and heartbreaking at the same time. What really brings it into focus is the fact that it happens in real life everyday. There are girls like the characters of Sara and Rachel out there who live their life in a polygamist family sect and all to often there is no love in marriage for them. Often married off by the decree of one man or another at a shockingly young age, these girls lives consist of little more than that of a servant and concubine. Incest, rape and lack of proper medical care are all issues that find their way into Avery’s work and make stunning impressions. These are also all issues experienced and endured by real women within this “lifestyle”.
Hidden Wives is a journey of enlightenment, the testing of faith and the bonds of love. It is also a testament to what courage true love can inspire in us when wear lucky enough to find it. I devoured this book and simply could not put it down. Fiction of this type has been done many times before but rarely have I felt so connected to the characters as I did to Sara and Rachel. Perhaps that may have to do with the fact that the book was a joint effort by two sisters. CLAIRE AVERY is a pseudonym for a writing team consisting of sister: Mari Hilburn, an attorney, and Michelle Poché, a screenwriter. The love and connection they share comes through in the relationship and bond of Sara and Rachel, making them more real and therefore more of an investment for the reader’s emotions.
Avery exposes the real life struggles endured by women and young girls in fundamental polygamist groups everyday, exposing the evils within and the day to day life as well. The book and it’s take on polygamy is well researched but lends itself more to the art of storytelling, capturing it’s audience from the first line. I highly recommend this book to any reader looking for an interesting and informative read. It’s also a great choice for a book club since it is guaranteed to inspire conversation and debate. My only criticism would be that they ending seemed rather abrupt and perhaps too easily wrapped up. The narrative is gripping and gently told but the ending seems to have some discord in it’s sudden appearance. The book is so life-like that I expected the ending to follow in that pattern, as we all know life issues such as these seldom wind up in a quick fashion. However don’t let that take you away from an emotional and yet fulfilling read. Hidden Wives is not only a book not to be missed but also highlights an issue in America today that should not be forgotten or ignored.
Other Resources on Hidden Wives by Claire Avery:
- Book Discussion Guide
- Want your book signed but can’t make it to a signing? The authors will mail you a signed bookplate!
- Follow the Authors on Twitter and Facebook.
- You can also read more about the authors own experiences in a religious cult on their website.
- Read other reviews from the Hidden Wives Blog Tour at TLC Blog Tours.