Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka

Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka - 978-1-55143-927-3 - 12.95 - Orca Book Publishers

Celeste lives in Unity, a rural town founded by The Movement, a fundamentalist religious group that believes in pure faith, and obedience. Polygamy is the norm where young girls are assigned to much older husbands. Celeste questions her faith, the beliefs of her community and struggles to find the strength to break free while she worries that her actions will bring shame to her family.

One of the things that I like about this book is that while it shows the beliefs of the community as harsh, and the struggle of Celeste and others is real - it does not demonize the beliefs and shows that while some are not suited to the life, others thrive in it and find joy and fulfillment there. I found it gripping and had a hard time putting it down - it is told in the alternating voices of three girls in the community - Celeste, who questions, Nannette, who finds strength and peace in her beliefs, and Taviana, who was saved from a life as a prostitute and has found healing in the town of Unity, but must leave the town abruptly when the police come looking for her.

Highly Recommended for MS/HS
Ann Morgester, Library Curriculum Coordinator, Anchorage School District

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