Daughter of the Saints: Growing up in Polygamy

Overview

"Probably the best book ever written about polygamy. Neither an apologia nor an exposé."—Salt Lake City Tribune"I am the daughter of my father's fourth plural wife, twenty-eighth of forty-eight children—a middle kid, you might say."
So begins this astonishing and poignant memoir of life in the family of Utah fundamentalist leader and naturopathic physician Rulon C. Allred. Since polygamy was abolished by manifesto in 1890, this is a story of secrecy and lies, of poverty and imprisonment and government raids. When...

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Overview

"Probably the best book ever written about polygamy. Neither an apologia nor an exposé."—Salt Lake City Tribune"I am the daughter of my father's fourth plural wife, twenty-eighth of forty-eight children—a middle kid, you might say."
So begins this astonishing and poignant memoir of life in the family of Utah fundamentalist leader and naturopathic physician Rulon C. Allred. Since polygamy was abolished by manifesto in 1890, this is a story of secrecy and lies, of poverty and imprisonment and government raids. When raids threatened, the families were forced to scatter from their pastoral compound in Salt Lake City to the deserts of Mexico or the wilds of Montana. To follow the Lord's plan as dictated by the Principle, the human cost was huge. Eventually murder in its cruelest form entered when members of a rival fundamentalist group assassinated the author's father.
Dorothy Solomon, monogamous herself, broke from the fundamentalist group because she yearned for equality and could not reconcile the laws of God (as practiced by polygamists) with the vastly different laws of the state. This poignant account chronicles her brave quest for personal identity. Originally published in hardcover under the title Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk.

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Editorial Reviews

Elle
Her harrowing family history and bracingly vivid, frequently poetic memoir is a document of consistent fascination and intermittently astonishing power.
Pam Houston
“[An] amazing story.”
Terry Tempest Williams
“Written with courage, compassion, and an uncommon wisdom.... This book is a reckoning with truth.”
Teresa Jordan
“I have never read a memoir that moved me so deeply.”
Elle
“Her harrowing family history and bracingly vivid, frequently poetic memoir is a document of consistent fascination and intermittently astonishing power.”
Kim Barnes
“Bold and strongly imagined...takes us deep to the heart of a family story that is both strange and familiar.”
Judith Freeman
“A wise and moving memoir that should be read by anyone interested in how we configure our relationships.”
Boston Sunday Globe
“Solomon succeeds so admirably where Krakauer fails. She has produced a book sprinkled with both beauty and 'indelible sadness'.”
KLIATT
Solomon writes about polygamy from the point of view of a grown-up child who has experienced it firsthand and has chosen a different way of life for herself. As the 28th of 48 children, she had a close relationship with her mother and "aunts," and she also was one of her father's favorite children. Solomon manages to write about the strange history of her family in a way that avoids the sensational aspects of polygamy. Her writing is honest and balanced and conveys her familial love at the same time, it reveals the evil that often lies beneath the strange relationships polygamy breeds. Unlike "exposes" of polygamy, Solomon writes about real people and their real beliefs. KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Norton, 398p. bibliog., Ages 15 to adult.
—Nola Theiss
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393325775
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/25/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 398
  • Sales rank: 1,477,199
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy Allred Solomon lives in Park City, Utah. She is the recipient of several awards from the Utah Arts Council and a Governor's Media Award for Excellence.

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Table of Contents

Note to the Reader 11
1
The Mark of my Ancestors 17
Jewels in a Heavenly Crown 30
Vase with Flowers 55
The Fullness of Times 66
Range Wars and Religion 83
In the Colonies 104
Return to God's Country 115
First Love 128
2
The Raids 155
Manna in the Desert 171
Crossing the Border 187
On the Run 204
3
Versions of Love 219
Life in Zion 235
War without Honor 256
Blood Atonement 274
The Trial 295
4
Interface 321
Clutches of the Pond 324
Sister-Wife 352
Speaking of Isaac 372
Holding Grace 385
The Mark of My Ancestors Revisited 393
Acknowledgments 397
Bibliography 399
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