Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage

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Overview

In many ways, the Browns are like any other middle-American family. They eat, play, and pray together, squabble and hug, striving to raise happy, well-adjusted children while keeping their relationship loving and strong. The difference is, there are five adults in the openly polygamous Brown marriage—Kody and his four wives—who among them have seventeen children.

Since TLC first launched its popular reality program Sister Wives, the Browns have become one of the most famous ...

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Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage

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Overview

In many ways, the Browns are like any other middle-American family. They eat, play, and pray together, squabble and hug, striving to raise happy, well-adjusted children while keeping their relationship loving and strong. The difference is, there are five adults in the openly polygamous Brown marriage—Kody and his four wives—who among them have seventeen children.

Since TLC first launched its popular reality program Sister Wives, the Browns have become one of the most famous families in the country. Now Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn reveal in their own words exactly how their special relationship works—the love and faith that drew them together, the plusses and pitfalls of having sister wives, and the practical and emotional complications of a lifestyle viewed by many with distrust, prejudice, even fear. With the candor and frankness that have drawn millions to their show, they talk about what makes their fascinating family work, addressing the topics that intrigue outsiders: How do the four relationships differ? What effect does a polygamous upbringing have on their children? What are the challenges—emotional, social, or financial—involved in living this lifestyle? Is it possible for all four sister wives to feel special when sharing a husband—and what happens when jealousy arises? How has being on camera changed their lives? And what’s it like to add a new wife to the family—or to be that new wife?

Filled with humor, warmth, surprising insights, and remarkable honesty, this is a singular story of plural marriage and all the struggles and joys that go with it. At heart, it’s a love story—unconventional but immediately recognizable in the daily moments of trust, acceptance, forgiveness, passion, and commitment that go into making one big, happy, extraordinary family.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A behind-the-scenes look at the life of a celebrity polygamist family. The authors, Kody Brown and his wives (Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn) tell their story sequentially, writing alternating chapters in each of the five parts. They begin with Kody's first (and only legal) marriage to Meri in 1990, and then describe how the couple brought the next two sister wives, Christine and Robyn into their family. This provides the back story to the real-life drama featured on their popular reality TV show, Sister Wives. After the first episodes aired, the family fled from Utah to Las Vegas to avoid threatened legal prosecution for bigamy. The authors explain that they are members of a Mormon sect that subscribes to all the tenets of the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--plus one more: "the principle of celestial plural marriage," which is sanctified by a church ceremony. Readers hoping to find out more about the Mormon faith in general will be disappointed, and the authors are clear to distinguish their faith from that of the Fundamentalist LDS, which was led by convicted child molester Warren Jeffs. The authors do not explain the specific spiritual issues underlying their decision to embrace polygamy. They write movingly about their decision to reject the secrecy imposed on polygamous families, the new strains of their celebrity situation, the inevitable problems inherent in their marital situation, and the joys of raising 17 children. Sister Wives has finished its fourth season amid rumors of a fifth marriage and lawsuit against Utah by the family. A different take on married life, of broader interest because of the issue of same-sex marriage and Mitt Romney's membership in the LDS.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451661309
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Pages: 269
  • Sales rank: 186,636
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

The Brown Family—husband Kody, wives Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn, and their seventeen children—are open polygamists, and the stars of the popular TLC reality program Sister Wives.

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Read an Excerpt

Becoming Sister Wives

 

I spent the early years of my life living in California with my parents, both of whom were devout followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When I was a baby, my mom had a friend who left the LDS church because she practiced plural marriage. When my mom learned about this, it piqued her interest, and she began studying the principle as well. Soon after, she suggested to my dad that the family move to Utah. He didn’t know her religious reasons at the time, but he said sure, let’s move—though it took them four and a half more years of research and studying the principle before they actually did. We finally moved to Utah when I was five years old.

It was my mother who urged my father to take his first plural wife. He did, and she joined the family when I was only five, but I still have fond memories of her. Unfortunately, it was a short marriage with no children, and she left two years later. When I was ten, my mom and dad once again brought a new wife into the family. I didn’t think there was anything strange about it—in fact, I was excited. I was a shy kid and didn’t make friends easily. When I found out that the woman my father was courting was from a large polygamous family, I was thrilled to have the chance to get to know a whole new group of people and be able to make more friends. Our family grew quickly. Eventually, my father took four wives in addition to my mother. In total, I have twenty-seven siblings!

I was in a slightly easier position than many of my siblings who came from my father’s second, third, fourth, or fifth marriages. Since I was the child of my father’s first marriage, his “legal” one, it was simple and natural for my father to be my father in public. Since polygamy isn’t widely accepted, for the other kids, it could be more difficult to acknowledge their father publicly. To my father’s credit, he “owned,” that is, acted as a true father to, every one of my brothers and sisters.

Growing up, I always assumed I would live the polygamous lifestyle. It was the tradition in which I was raised. My biological parents and my mother’s sister wives all seemed happy for the most part. Of course there were the normal ups and downs that happen in any family. I loved being part of a large family; it felt normal and comfortable. My parents, however, never pushed me toward the principle. They wanted me to make my own decisions and come to plural marriage, if I chose, through my own route.

My parents’ only rule about religion was that I had to go to church, but this isn’t so different from millions of parents around the world. It was always made clear to me that whatever religion I embraced as an adult—whether our branch of fundamentalism, LDS, or something else—was entirely up to me.

Despite the fact that I was shy, I managed to make a number of friends outside our church group. I worked at a portrait studio and became friendly with many of my coworkers, which helped me to overcome my shyness. Perhaps because I interacted with so many people outside my faith when I was a teenager, for a time I really questioned whether or not I was going to live the principle of plural marriage. I was struggling to find my way and discover my own identity within our close-knit community and the requirements of our faith—and then I met Kody.

 

I was raised in the LDS faith. Both of my parents were devout Mormons. However, when I was fourteen years old, my mother pulled me aside and explained to me some of the doctrines of Mormonism that are a little more intense. One of these is that of celestial plural marriage. The moment my mother described the principle to me, I had a feeling that this was something I was going to follow. I had no idea how or when, I just knew.

Of course, being young and stubborn, I battled hard against this calling. In the LDS church there’s absolutely no opportunity to explore plural marriage. It’s simply not done. Plural marriage is one of the few things that sets the Mormon fundamentalist faith apart from followers of the LDS church. The religions are similar, but this one difference is astronomical. Embracing it meant leaving the faith of my childhood forever.

When I was nineteen, I was sent on my LDS mission to southern Texas. During the two years I spent proselytizing for the Mormon church, the doctrine of plural marriage was constantly on my mind. It spoke to me. It called to me. But I still had no idea what to do with this summons.

While I was away in the ministry in Texas, I got a letter from my mother telling me that my parents had been excommunicated from the LDS church and had joined a fundamentalist Mormon faith. I thought, Well, this is interesting. But I was still too hardheaded to see it as a sign that I should follow in their footsteps. My parents’ excommunication from the Mormon church broke my heart. I was deeply concerned about their spiritual welfare, but God spoke peace to me. I continued my service in the mission field and finished my two-year calling.

By the time I returned from my mission, my father had taken a second wife. My mother had written me dozens of letters about how wonderful her sister wife was, so although I had never met my new mom, I was ready to accept her completely. She deserved my respect and my love, simply because my father had married her.

When I returned to Utah from Texas, I immediately experienced the remarkable warmth of the principle of plural marriage as my mother had explained it to me years before. The warmth and love I imagined would go hand in hand with a polygamous lifestyle were no longer an unattainable ideal. They were real and concrete and precisely as I had imagined they would be. My mother was away, but here was another woman who loved my father and whom my father loved, and by extension, we grew to love each other as mother and son. It was an easy and wonderful evolution.

Even though my parents had converted to fundamentalism and I’d discovered for myself the warmth of the polygamous lifestyle, I was still uncertain about converting myself. I began associating with members of my parents’ new church and attending their gatherings. I thought I knew what I wanted, but it took me a while to make a commitment. Then I met a girl named Meri, and that changed everything.

 

I first noticed Kody at church. Our church group is quite close-knit and has been together a long time, so any new face really stands out. He caught my eye, and I believe I caught his. Someone introduced us, but beyond a brief hello, I don’t think we said a word to each other. I was eighteen, and I’d never been courted by a guy before. Shoot, I was so quiet that I’d probably never even been noticed by a guy before! So nothing of a romantic nature crossed my mind during that first meeting.

That summer I attended a camp for girls of our faith. One of my fellow campers, a girl named Christy, was here from out of state and had a photo of her brother who was attending our church in Utah. When she showed it to me, I immediately recognized Kody.

A few months after camp ended, Christy came back to Utah from her home in Wyoming to attend a wedding. She invited me over to the house where she was staying. I walked in the door and there was Kody, sitting on the couch! He said, “Hi, Meri! You’re the Meri my sister is always talking about.”

I was shocked that he knew my name. I was used to my friends getting all the guys while I went pretty much unnoticed. It was good to be seen for once and not to be overlooked for my shyness. I was a little taken with Kody right off the bat. He was definitely cute, and had a great attitude. He was talkative and engaged me in conversation, and made me feel comfortable around him. Neither courting nor dating were on my mind at that point. He was the brother of a good friend, and that was how we began our friendship.

The next day Kody and Christy came to meet me as I got off my shift at my job at a portrait studio in the mall. The three of us went to lunch and then to an evening get-together. I felt comfortable around them, as if I’d fallen into a new and safe friendship.

Over the next few days, I began discovering what a fun guy Kody was. He was always laughing and smiling. He had a good attitude and a positive outlook on life. He really was outgoing and positive. I was impressed with the strength of his convictions and the depth of his spirituality. After knowing him for just a few days, I found myself liking to be around him and spending time with him, and wondering what direction this new relationship would take. One night, while his sister was still in town, we went to the home of some friends of his family for a party. There were quite a few people there, but every once in a while I would catch Kody looking at me. When our eyes met, he’d give me a little smile. It made my heart race. Unfortunately, a few days later, Christy returned to Wyoming. Since she was the reason I’d been hanging out with Kody in the first place, I didn’t really think that he and I would see each other as much as we had been.

Thankfully, I was wrong. The next week, Kody and I continued running into each other at church events. Eventually he asked my dad if it would be okay if the two of us went out to grab a bite to eat. I know it seems pretty old-fashioned that a young man would need my father’s permission to go out with me, but our faith has specific morals to uphold and protocols to follow. Therefore, out of respect for me and my dad, Kody wanted to request my father’s permission for our association. Anyway, there was something flattering about a young man going to the trouble of getting my father’s approval before taking me out.

My father was an excellent judge of character and warmed to Kody immediately. My dad had a good handle on people. He had no problem with Kody and me “hanging out,” which soon became the description we jokingly used for our relationship. He knew me well enough to know that we would be appropriate with each other, and knew he had nothing to worry about in my new relationship. Now that we had my father’s approval, Kody and I could get to know each other in earnest.

Maybe it was because of me or maybe it was purely because of his growing interest in our faith (I like to think it was a combination of the two), but Kody started spending more and more time associating with people from our church. I usually found myself somewhere nearby. Kody was, and always has been, a loud and enthusiastic presence. It is hard to miss him in a crowd. Back then, I was quickly learning that Kody is the guy everybody wants to know and be around.

At first when people noticed us hanging out together they would ask Kody if I was his sister. I had been a member of this church since I was five years old, but I was so quiet and shy that many people had simply not noticed me. Now that I was spending time with Kody, people began to take notice.

Before Kody arrived in our group, I had been a wallflower. Now I began coming out of my shell. It was nice, but it was strange. I was experiencing the people and places that had been most familiar to me in a whole new light. I was participating instead of standing on the sidelines. I was spending more and more time with him and starting to hope that our relationship would go beyond friendship.

But then, Kody broke my heart.

After we had known each other for a few weeks, when I could no longer deny that I was falling for him, Kody came over to my house. We were sitting on the couch, waiting for my mom to get home. Kody really enjoyed my mom’s company and wanted to spend some time with her, which pleased me and gave me hope that things were becoming more serious between us. This hope was short-lived.

At the precise moment I’d expected him to make some sort of declaration to me, or at least hint at his feelings toward me, he said, “I can’t get involved in any relationships with girls right now. I like our friendship, let’s continue that.”

I was devastated. But I fought not to let it show.

 

I’m a hopeless romantic and too easily infatuated. When I was growing up, I suffered all sorts of little heartbreaks. I had a careless dating style. I would dive into a relationship before considering my true feelings. Often I’d find myself holding a girl’s hand, then I’d look over at her and think: Why am I holding her hand? I don’t really like her.

During my two years in the ministry in Texas, I promised myself that I would never again kiss a woman until I knew for sure that I was in love. When I returned home from my mission and began seriously considering converting from the LDS church to Mormon fundamentalism, my mother told me that I should take time away from girls, or at least from dating them. She knew that I needed to become less careless and discover what it was I truly wanted from a relationship and whom I truly loved. My mother sat me down and said, “The next time you find yourself infatuated with someone, why don’t you just try and be friends? Don’t rush into a romantic relationship right off the bat. Be friends and let something develop.”

That decided it. I told myself I was done with dating carelessly. I was done chasing girls. I urged myself to be patient and to learn how to be friends with the next girl I became interested in. Meri was my experiment in friends!

Meri was so cute and sweet when I met her that I had a hard time suppressing my hopelessly romantic nature. She had a remarkable purity about her. I had a sneaking suspicion that we were soul mates, but because of the promise I had made to myself, I rejected this notion. I was determined to be Meri’s friend until I knew her better and could confirm my suspicion that our destinies were intertwined. I was glad that Meri and I kept finding ourselves spending more and more time together.

I was excited to be associating with members of Meri’s faith. They had an intensity about religion that I found inspiring. Perhaps because their religion was somewhat countercultural and at odds with certain conventional doctrines, they took no aspect of their belief for granted. They examined their convictions carefully and enthusiastically. The members of this group were fully committed to their ideologies and discussed them at length, both debating and confirming the tenets of their religion. Every day I spent with this group seemed to turn into an impromptu revival with profound discussions of spirituality and religion that I’d been missing in the LDS church. Even though I loved my new group of friends and their congregation, I hadn’t yet determined whether I should join the faith.

Nevertheless, I kept surrounding myself with people from my parents’ new church. A few weeks after I told Meri that I wasn’t open to dating, I invited her up to my parents’ ranch in Wyoming for Thanksgiving. Meri and I were never far from each other’s side during that trip. Naturally, people began to ask if we were dating. It was pretty clear that we liked each other a whole lot more than just “friends.” I often caught Meri making eyes at me. I didn’t have to ask her how she felt about me—it was written all over her face. I couldn’t stop winking back at her from time to time. It was no longer possible for me to deny that I had strong feelings for Meri. She was sweet and innocent, and a wonderful listener. She validated my existence. We became inseparable.

At the same time, I thought this wasn’t fair to Meri or me. I didn’t want to lead her on, but I didn’t want to make a mistake either.

Thanksgiving weekend ended. I had planned to stay with my parents for a few days, so Meri drove back to Utah with some of our friends. This was the first time in weeks that we had been separated for so long. I thought about her constantly while we were apart.

The house was finally quiet, which is remarkable in my large family. All the guests had returned home, and my younger siblings were in bed. I was sitting at my mom’s kitchen table, eating ice cream with a fork. The kitchen was dark, but light from the living room spilled onto the floor. Again I thought it wasn’t fair to either of us to pretend we were just friends. We were obviously much more than that. I didn’t want to drag this out and hurt Meri or myself in the process.

I needed God to answer two questions: Should I join the church I was investigating, and should Meri and I get married? After all, I couldn’t marry her without converting, but I wanted to convert because of a spiritual conviction, not because of my love for Meri. I finished my bowl of ice cream and I decided to fast and pray until I knew with deep conviction what path I should follow.

I went to the bunkhouse on my parents’ property, which is where I slept. I got into bed and began my fast. After two days of fasting, I decided to drive back down to Utah. Meri’s parents had invited me to stay in a guest room at their home. I hadn’t eaten since Meri left Wyoming, and I was shocked by how great I felt. I was strong and energetic, as if I were being sustained by a greater power throughout my fast. I felt as if this remarkable strength that persisted without food or water was part of my answer.

When I got to the guest bedroom, I was overcome with an overwhelming feeling of peace, greater than anything I’d experienced before. That feeling, that unbelievable sense of tranquillity and calm, was exactly what I’d been searching for. I had made my decision and I was at peace with it. That very day, I told Meri’s dad that I had decided to join his faith. He made the arrangements quickly. The next weekend I was baptized, and I committed myself to the principle of celestial plural marriage and to God the Almighty. Somehow, in the middle of all of this, I remembered to ask Meri’s father for his permission to court his daughter. I guess my conversion really cast me in a favorable light, because he granted it immediately.

After the baptism, Meri and I went to Temple Square outside the LDS temple in Salt Lake City to meet up with friends. I had my answer about both my faith and about Meri. I knew that I wanted to marry her, and I just had a feeling that she would say yes if I asked. But as usual, I was moving too quickly and following my romantic impulses. We hadn’t even started courting, but I was already kneeling at the altar.

That night in Temple Square I was wearing an old trench coat from my mission. I turned to Meri and said, “Your hands look cold.” Then I took one of them in mine and I put our hands into the pocket of my coat. I didn’t want to attract anyone’s notice, but I wanted to hold her hand. I had finally become comfortable with our romance, because now I knew this was the woman I was going to marry.

 

Even though Kody had told me that he didn’t want to date anyone, I still hoped that he would change his mind. When he finally approached my father about wanting to court me, I was thrilled. Kody and I had a wonderful courtship. The fact that we had spent so much time as friends, and knew each other so well, allowed us to develop a sweet, romantic relationship based upon friendship and mutual respect.

Kody and I decided to spend Christmas with his family at their ranch in Wyoming. It had been three years since he had spent Christmas there and I was looking forward to getting to know his family a little better. We had been courting for a month, but we had been hanging out for longer than that. It was impossible for us to hide the depth of our feelings for each other. Everyone knew we were in love.

At dinner, a few days before Christmas Eve, his family kept nagging us about our relationship. They all wanted to know, “When are you guys getting married?” They asked me over and over again.

Finally I shot back with, “Well, he hasn’t even asked me yet,” more to tease Kody than anything else—and maybe to light a little fire under him.

That night after dinner, when we were sitting in the bunkhouse, Kody asked in a nervous—but cute!—way, “I’m thinking maybe we ought to get married, you know, if you want to.”

It was an awkward moment, not at all the romantic proposal girls dream of. Although I did want to marry him, I was hoping for a real proposal—and there was something else holding me back.

I wanted to take some time for introspection, to know from God if this was the right choice for me. During this time that I was taking to check my feelings and validate them with God, Kody and I went ring shopping. We found a ring we both really liked, but we kept looking just to be sure. Kody knew this was the ring for us, though, so while I thought we were still shopping, he secretly had his sister buy it for him.

On Christmas Eve, Kody officially asked me to marry him. He was really nervous. He sounded shy and embarrassed and not at all like his usual self when he asked me to marry him this time. He handed me the jewelry box without opening it or taking the ring out, almost as if he was delivering a package. I thought it was sweet how nervous and unpracticed he was.

“You’re supposed to take the ring out and present it to me, not just hand me the box,” I told him. But I was just giving him a hard time. I was thrilled that Kody had asked me to be his wife. I was completely in love with him. I knew he was my soul mate, and that we were destined for each other. We had a strong foundation of friendship to build on. I was so excited to finally be engaged to him, and looking forward to becoming his wife.

In true Kody Brown fashion, he had once again jumped way ahead of himself. He’d asked me to marry him before he’d received consent from my father. The next day, Kody called my dad. The two of them had developed a deep friendship based on faith, spirituality, and understanding, so my dad gave us permission at once.

 

I loved Meri. I was certain of it. But I was worried. In every one of my past infatuations, I had been able to explore the possibility of a chemical connection through a kiss. I hadn’t done this with Meri, however, simply because it was not appropriate by the standards of my new faith—and because I was waiting for the appropriate time. When we started our courtship, I promised myself I wouldn’t kiss her until we were engaged. This strict abstinence made our relationship and our commitment to each other more powerful and meaningful. This was no simple infatuation. It was love that had been established without the complications of physicality, which makes it spiritual above all else.

During the first week of our engagement, between Christmas and New Year’s, we met with the head of our church to get his approval so that we could get married. He gladly granted us his permission.

On New Year’s Eve there was a dance for the members of our church community. Meri looked fabulous in the peach dress she wore, which accentuated her curves in a way that I had avoided noticing before our engagement. I didn’t need any proof that I was attracted to her at this point. I knew it without a doubt and I was very excited about my decision to marry her. It seemed throughout the dance that we were the only people there. The voices and chatter of our friends and family seemed to be just a background hum as we got lost in each other. She was the most beautiful girl in the whole room; I couldn’t take my eyes off her the whole night. When I took Meri home and we were saying good night, I leaned in and kissed her. I hadn’t planned to do it, but I didn’t try to hold myself back. It was a sweet kiss that felt natural and right. It was the best start to the New Year I could have envisioned. That kiss told me that I had made the right decision to ask for Meri’s hand. Our chemistry was undeniable.

Meri and I set a wedding date for April 21, which gave us nearly four more months of courtship, and provided the time for us to even further deepen our relationship. This was an important and special time. After three subsequent marriages, I now understand what a luxury this courtship was. Since we had a monogamous engagement, there were no complications from the emotions and feelings of another wife. Meri and I were able to date as much and as freely as we wished. We were able to get to know each other unencumbered and unhindered.

Those four months were wonderful. Our friendship developed into a remarkable love affair. We shared everything with one another. We got to know each other on an intimate yet chaste level.

After that first kiss, we shared many more sweet kisses. It was clear to me that when Meri and I were finally married, there would be no awkwardness between us. Meri was my fiancée and we were very much in love. Our relationship was a typical love story, the kind you see in movies and on TV. She would smile from across a room and I would wink back at her. We must have aggravated our friends and families with how much in love we were. While we were outwardly infatuated with each other, deep down we were becoming the soul mates I suspected we would be from the moment we met.

During our courtship, we were completely carefree. We had minimum-wage jobs that we weren’t committed to. We didn’t have much money and were trying to prepare for our wedding and honeymoon, but it didn’t bother us. We didn’t know where we were going to live after the honeymoon. We didn’t know what we were going to do, but it was exciting. We had each other, and that was all that mattered.

 

Kody and I were married on April 21, 1990. We had a very special private wedding ceremony and a traditional wedding reception. I wore a simple and elegant white dress that I had made by hand, and I had my heart set on Kody wearing a white tuxedo. I look back now at pictures from our wedding and laugh, but with the eighties having just ended, it was definitely the style of the day.

Kody and I chose to spend our wedding night at our new home. It felt special to us to be able to begin our intimate lives together in our own home, rather than in some hotel room. We were deeply and passionately in love with each other. There was no awkwardness between us, everything felt just as it should be. We had plans to leave on our honeymoon the next day, but unfortunately I got sick and that delayed our plans. Although being in this new relationship with Kody was absolutely amazing and wonderful, and we had a lot of fun together planning our wedding, I think my getting sick was just a result of the stress and pressure that comes along with planning a wedding. So for the next three days, we stayed at home. Kody started calling our home our honeymoon cottage. Finally, toward the end of the third day, I felt good enough to travel. There we were, four days after we were married, finally leaving on our honeymoon. We only got as far as Pocatello, Idaho, that night.

Our honeymoon was a typical Kody Brown–style trip—everything was spontaneous and unplanned. We were just so excited to be married and to be traveling with only each other for company. The next day, we made it to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, our official honeymoon destination. We spent a memorable few days there, sightseeing around the quaint little tourist town and exploring our new relationship. We had a magical and romantic experience together, a wonderful beginning to our new life.

After our honeymoon was over, Kody and I settled down in a town called American Fork, about half an hour south of Salt Lake City. Our new life together was sweet and romantic. We spent as much time together as possible, just basking in the love shared between us. I was nineteen and Kody was twenty-two. We didn’t have any set plans for the future yet. We didn’t have school or careers tying us down. We just wanted our love affair to continue.

During that first year of marriage, we weren’t always the most responsible young adults. At one point, we both held jobs that didn’t really interest us. We needed to make a trip out of town to see his family in Wyoming, so we quit our jobs and decided to just get ones that we actually liked when we returned home. We loved spending time together more than anything, and before we had kids or other wives in the picture, we were able to live carefree. Maybe we were purely enjoying ourselves, or maybe we were taking our time figuring out what we wanted. I think it was healthy not to have rushed into anything, pretending that we were more mature and knowledgeable than we were.

One thing Kody and I both knew, and had committed to each other from the moment we got married, was that there would be other wives. Even in the early days of our marriage, we talked about a second wife. We knew it was going to happen, but we didn’t know when or how. We would often have discussions about where we would meet our next wife, who she would be, and how we would bring her into the family. On occasion, when Kody and I would meet a woman, he and I would discuss whether she would be a good fit for our family. We knew it would happen eventually, but in the meantime, we were enjoying the time we had together, learning, sharing, and falling more in love each day.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 149 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    I read this book in two days and it was very intriguing to know

    I read this book in two days and it was very intriguing to know that what we see on the show is only the tip of the iceberg. The fact that they had so many issues that they brushed under the rug was really surprising especially since they made it seem that they were really good friends from beginning but that wasn't the case exactly.I was especially disappointed with how Meri treated Janelle early on and even today, they still haven't worked on things from the past but it seems like they want to start trying to. Not trying to go into to much detail but it was a very good read a lot questions that I had were answered. Still don't agree with the lifestyle but I appreciate the honesty of the book.

    43 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Not Enough New Information

    I'm disappointed that people have written more reviews of the Brown family here than of the actual book itself. If you're trying to decide if this book is worth the time and money, my opinion of the Brown's is irrelevant, so I will stick to what I think about the book! It's a very easy and enjoyable read however, if you've seen every episode of Sister Wives, including the "bonus" behind the scenes interview shows TLC has aired, you won't really find out much that you don't already know. I was hoping the book would shed some light on how the family financially supports 5 adults and all of those kids, but they are as vague about it in the book as they are on the show. That is just one of the many things I'm curious about when it comes to Kody and his family. I wouldn't consider their book a waste of time to read, but I do wish I hadn't wasted $12 on it because I basically paid for the same information twice, first to the cable company and now to Barnes & Noble. They should have spent the time to go more in depth and to address some of the things they don't get into or have time to go into detail about on the show. The editors didn't do a very good job either. There are more spelling and grammatical errors in this book than in any other book I've ever read, there's a lot of redundancy and it just didn't flow as smoothly as it should.

    39 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Very Eye Opening and Great Read

    I just finished this book and was more than pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it! While I am a fan of the show, I definitely had my own negative thoughts about the lifestyle the Brown's live...until now. The book answered many of my questions and misconceptions about their lives. I definitely commend them for being brave enough be open and honest about their livess, but most of all for educating people about a topic that is so controversial. Ecellent read,

    33 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2012

    I wrote a whole review that somehow got erased, so I'll sum it u

    I wrote a whole review that somehow got erased, so I'll sum it up.

    The book was an OKAY read but the timeline was sometimes confusing.
    Overall, I believe the book would have benefited from not having Kody's perspective represented at all. His parts were shallow, long-winded and confusing.

    23 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Sister Wives

    Wow, I follow the show faithfully!!!! I still myself could not live this lifestyle!!!!! However the individual stories where interesting but, seemed to be carefully thought out just like the Q & A's on the show. I am a christian and daily try not judge others, I do feel that america judges the Brown's, their choices and their lifestyle. I have to keep myself incheck to keep my thoughts to myself, my husband hates that I watch the show and he actually says hey your judging them after a show and I will say something or tend to favor one wife(Christine) mostly, truthfully she seems the most lost & hurt and ignorned to me, she just touches my heart more, then I think wait they all our very different and face many of the same struggles I do in my life!!!! The book gives you insight and voices from each wife and Kody far more than the show!!!! I read it in 2days and see that each person has his/her own weakness/strenghts I have read so many stories on pologamy Alyssa Wales/Flora Jessop/Caroline Jessop and many others. I had a perception that all poligamists where they same. However after watching the show and following blogs and reading the book, I have came to a understanding that they are indeed different then what I believed of pologamists. There is to much hate in this world, mostly we hate and fear what we do not understand or that differs from our own beliefs or lifestyles. I believe God wants us to see past differences in any situation and see what is the heart!!! Love, understanding in knowledge is the key to understanding anything life whirls at you, especially when its not your own personal normal. Good luck Brown's!!!!!!!
    Robin
    Pittsburgh, PA

    20 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Enjoyed this book.

    It is nice to see a family who sticks by each other and their beliefs. As a fan of the show it was nice to read a deeper view of their history and family dynamic. They are just like every other family. Imperfect people trying to live their beliefs and raise a family.

    19 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    If you like the show, read the book.

    This book is a great addition to the show. If you like the show, read the book. I found it gave a lot of insight to the attitudes of the individual adults in this family. I do not agree with their beliefs or lifestyle but I feel I have a better understanding of the unit now that I have read the book. I think they are good people who are maybe just misguided. Regardless, I find them interesting and a warm group of people. I love the show.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    A Different Side

    I enjoy watching the TV show and found the book to be quite informative of the mechanics of how it all REALLY works vs. What we are shown on TV.
    There were parts of the book that had me telling my husband that I wanted Sister Wives! (well, they can't sleep with him though) as the idea of having chores split up, and being able to go work while I had a fully competent other woman who loves my kid as her own watching her, sounds great! But there are those moments where you realize just how much character and strength you have to have in order to participate in this lifestyle.
    Only complaint about this book was I found Kody's blurbs lacking. Not in that there weren't enough, just that they said much the same thing.

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    ?..

    This book and show is deplorable. It puts the women into a prostitution area and the man into a wanna be sheik position. This is sex bondage and should be outlawed.

    13 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    Love the show, find the Brown's interesting! The book however is

    Love the show, find the Brown's interesting! The book however is poorly written, jumps around and is at times very confusing. Not to mention the spelling and grammatical errors that run through it. Also did anyone else notice that it is basically a love fest to Robyn and how until she came into the family it was just a mess of people living in a daze... that is what I took away from it, they seemed honest and open until they started talking about Robyn, it was like I was jealous when Robyn joined the family but that was my issue and in no way represented her... maybe she can't handle criticism. I like learning about them from when before the show began but they should have used an actual writer to tell their story. Polygamy amongst consenting adults doesn't bother me, to each their own, what I find confusing is the fact that they don't take much time to get to know each other, they just seemed to see each other across the room and know they were meant to be together, court (for a very short period of time) and get married... I guess whatever works for you!

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Get to Know the Browns!

    I love the show and the Browns! This book goes more indepth into each wive's personalities and personal stories.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Rate the book!

    Do people not understand that a book review is your opinion on THE BOOK and not your beliefs about the Browns or their chosen lifestyle! Its annoying to try and find out if the book is a good read only to have to sift through peoples rants!

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Disgusting!

    God intented marriage to be between 1 man and 1 woman...this man is PATHETIC! These women have been brainwashed into thinking this is normal. There is nothing normal or Christian about your husband sleeping with and having children with other women. BUT...if they feel this is right....then why aren't the women allowed to have another husband or husbands? HUH? Why is it considered wrong if the women do the same thing? And to the women I ask...who told you at some point in your life that, YOU do not deserve to have YOUR OWN husband and family. What happened to make you that insecure? I feel sorry for the children. That whole situation is disgusting!

    9 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    the book was just a reinforcement of the show...i didn't really

    the book was just a reinforcement of the show...i didn't really learn anything new...but it was a good enough read...it was very nice to read that the wives feel very empowered in the dynamic of their marriage...kody did not contribute as much as the four wives...but he is outnumbered!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Self dilusion and hypocracy

    Someone please knock some common sense into these fools please. They see themselves as enlightnend, independent and self sufficient. The women refer to the jealousy they feel over having to share a husband as "petty". When they do overcome it, then they consider themselves as "better" people who have "grown". It's absurd and the way they twist things around is so they can justify their own purposterous lives. And Kody's just the WORST. He is so pathologically insecure that he surrounds himself with 4 women and 100 kids? Meanwhile the women see him as the most devoted father ever. Anyone can be seen as dedicated when all he's obligated to do is spend time with each kid and mother every 4th day. The guy is a JOKE and his deep insecurities simply illustrate how weak his character really is. He's the most amoral hypocrite I've ever seen. Can you actually imagine allowing your own husband to sleep with and raise children with another woman? He eats it all up - an overabundance of attention being paid to him, a TV show that tries to portray him as some kind of honorableb man, the worship of 4 wives, sex with 4 different women for the rest of his life. I find his arrogance absurd, in that he's never actually DONE anything and hasn't

    Spoiler alert: the women basically all think Meri is a bully and, for the most part, is unilaterally disliked. Christine is as idiotic as she appears to be. Other wives refer to their relationship with her as completely superficial because she's immature and lacks depth. Robin's as pleasant as she is portrayed on the show. And Janelle??? Are you kidding me? You and Kody were INTELLECTUALLY drawn to each other? Whatever you say...neither of you have a decent education and you basically admit that your marriage is a sham. I think Janelle's a lesbian because her marriage is essentually a business partnership. These women just make me sad. They are so far from reality that there's really no way that they will ever get a brain and self respect.

    7 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2012

    Recommended Insightful Reading

    For those who do not 'get' the notion of plural marriages and maybe for those that do. A very absorbing book from start to finish. The book helps to understand each of the characters on the popular TV series of the same name.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Great Insight!

    This book has a lot of typos (a pet peeve of mine), but it is a must read if you are a fan of the show! This book offers great insight into each of the wives' personal history and their journey to becoming a part of the Brown family. I would agree with some of the other reviewers' comments regarding the book changing my perception of some of the wives. Everyone is very candid in sharing their personal struggles within the family, specifically with other wives. I found their honesty refreshing and truly enjoyed this book!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Inconsistent

    Although I find this book very interesting and full of the more in-depth details one wonders about while watching the reality tv series, I am disappointed with the small inconsistencies in stories throughout. I suppose it is due to each wife seeing what happened from her own point of view, however it seems as though there are just too many inconsistencies.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    ??. Makes you wonder? Makes you wonder...

    I wonder how these women might have thrived in a traditional marriage, without all the drama and jealously. I believe that Meri could shake the depression that she obviously suffers, Janelle could find the confidence to lose weight, and Christine could stop trying to get Meri's husband's attention by her "goofyness " Robyn seems to need this lifestyle. It was an interesting read, but truly sad and a waste of many lives. That being said, they don't deserve to be harrassed by the authorities.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Great book

    Loved this book made me think differently about Meri though.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 149 Customer Reviews

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