Monday, September 27, 2010

Hidden Wives by Claire Avery

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 Blood of the Lamb polygamist 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.

I read this book earlier this month, but have been struggling with writing a review.  Not because I didn't like it, because I really did. Rather, because there is so much that I want to say, but can not without spoiling it for other readers.

Sara and Rachel are sisters, biologically half-sisters, whose family are members of a cult Utah's Blood of the Lamb, a Mormon community that practices polygamy.  They live with their father, several mothers (any more than 1 is too many IMO), and siblings.  Their father is both physically and mentally abusive.

Sara, the stronger of the two, is a smart girl.  She questions the faith in which they have been raised.  She knows that many things that are being done within the community are just "not right".  When she learns that she is to marry her paternal uncle, and become the mother of some of his children, her cousins, she decides that she needs to get out of there! She loves her sister, and does not want to leave without her.  So, she must help Rachel realize that they must leave.  This is not an easy task as Rachel truly believes all that she has been taught, and that she must obey the laws of the Blood of The Lamb community or face eternal damnation.
With the help of a couple of friends, which they are not supposed to have, Sara and Rachel are able to escape!

I absolutely loved this book. I thought Sara was a great character. I loved her from the beginning.  I loved that despite her upbringing she was so smart, and strong, and was able to form her own beliefs and opinions. Rachel on the other hand, I was not so struck on. There were times when I wanted to reach right into the book and shake her, and tell her that she needed to listen to Sara!  However, Rachel grew on me, and I ended up really liking her, and found myself 'cheering her on'.

This book is definitely one that I will not soon forget. Though it is a work of fiction, I felt I learned a lot from it.  There were times it made me chuckle, (not too many though), times it made me sigh, and times it made me gasp. There were even a couple of times it made me shed a tear, or two.  It is one of the best books I have read this year. I highly recommend it. I suggested my online book group read it this month, and we are!  This is a book I would have no problem paying full price for. It is worth every penny, and more!   If you have not read this book, you should.

If you have read this book, I would love to know what you thought of it. Let me know in the comment section. If you have reviewed this book on your blog, or any other site, leave a link to it.


  1. Lu, I too loved this book. It is strong and heartbreaking and I was just wow-ed by it! I'm glad to see you were too! Great review.


  2. I'm so glad you loved this one! I know what you mean about it being hard to review without giving too much away.


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