Hidden Wives: A Novel

Hidden Wives: A Novel

by Claire Avery
4.4 46

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Hidden Wives 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Kaz70 More than 1 year ago
I received an advance review copy of HIDDEN WIVES. I could not put it down. I read it in one sitting, something I haven't done in about ten years. There was so much tension in every chapter, and the characters were so compelling and richly drawn that I found myself worrying about these two teenage girls growing up in this bizarre and predatory polygamist cult. This story stays with you long after you finish the last page. I highly recommend it.
SmartBooks More than 1 year ago
Claire Avery's Hidden Wives presents a piercingly emotional landscape through Sara and Rachel, two sisters coming-of-age in The Blood of the Lamb community - a fundamental polygamist sect in Utah. At 15 and 16-years-of-age, Sara and Rachel are bordering on spinsterhood. Most "girls" receive their marriage confirmations as early as 13-years-of-age through the "law of placing." The more wives a man has, the more likely he will attain the status of a god in the afterlife. It does not take long for the reader to realize the caustic effect of this practice: bride shortages. With the shortage of brides comes the unspeakable acts of child marriages, incest, rape, and violence. One of the most difficult parts of the book to read was the birth of a child as a result of an incestuous relationship - absolutely heartbreaking. Yet it is in these most mordant moments that we also see unmitigated acts of kindness, forgiveness, love, and authenticity. The most liberating and pivotal moments in the novel for me, are when Sara decides to take books from the local supermarket and return them after she has read them. I envisioned Sara reading Jackie Collins, Candace Bushnell, and Jennifer Weiner. It is through this small act of defiance that Sara sets herself apart from the rest of her community. She begins to question status quo and realizes that there is an entirely different world that exists outside the Blood of the Lamb Community. While this act of defiance almost costs Sara her life, it also leads her to meet a young black man who suffers from echolalia. I had not realized what this was prior to reading this book and think the writers are brilliant in their creation of this character. When I first began reading the dialogue between the characters...I thought the repetition of last parts of sentences would be quite distracting...it was actually some of the most beautiful writing I have ever read. By the time I made it three-fourths of the way through the novel, I was tense, grinding my teeth, holding my breath....I think the readers needed the "bat" scene. I am even appalled at my own reaction to the scene in the book...I literally said out loud, "one more time for the cheap seats in the back!" I am mortified to even admit I said this, but there you have it...a genuine emotional response that shocked even me! I am so thankful to have come across this book and have been able to think of little else since completing it this morning at 4 AM. I recommend this book to EVERYONE; it truly is one of those books that will stay with you long after you have read the last word. Life-changing, gut-wrenching writing!
JustinMurray More than 1 year ago
Claire Avery is exceptionally talented at crafting plot and suspense. Hidden Wives is the story of three teenagers - Sara, Rachel and Luke - who live in a polygamist Mormon community that marries young girls to older men, and drives adolescent boys out of the community to eliminate sexual competition. Within that story, there are elements that make this book a great read for readers with very different literary tastes: deep characters who undergo fascinating evolution and development as the story progresses; gripping suspense and adventure that subjects the main characters to peril (and creative escapes) at every turn; and a well-researched look at the rituals and theological beliefs of one of the major separatist cults in the United States. Pick up this book... you won't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this.
needthebeach1 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it. I also could not put it down and couldn't wait to see what would happen next to each of the characters. I have been interested in reading the stories of women escaping from the cult of Polygamy and even though the characters were fictional, it told a story of what other books have shared of the control that the men in that cult have over the women and girls growing up there.
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sneps More than 1 year ago
Secret weddings, forbidden love, sister wives, incest, mystery, and suicide are just some the ingredients that make this novel so fascinating and a "must-read". Claire Avery (two sisters) are not from the fundamentalist LDS church, but they certainly have done extensive research into this unspoken sect of the LDS faith. Woven with the history of Joseph Smith's religion (Latter-Day Saints) and a contemporary story is what makes this book magical. I could not put this book down and connected with both sisters, Rachel and Sarah. Rachel is the more devout follower of the faith, while Sarah begins to question a faith that chooses her husband at 15 years old and determines her future. Rachel represents women who do not challenge their faith, as she strives hard to be a model for others. She views her struggles and questions with the faith as not being enough of a believer and thus accepts whatever is chosen for her. However, Sarah wonders what life is like outside the walls of their secluded community and begins to see the world differently as she exposes herself to books (which are forbidden to be read). Luke and Irvin are minor characters in this intriguing story, however their impact in the lives of these sister's is monumental. Will Sarah marry her uncle? Will Rachel marry the Prophet or run away with Luke? Will the sister wives ever escape? These are questions that as a reader I had. While giving each character opportunity to develop and for the storyline to progress, this book leaves no stone unturned.
Lu-La-Bell More than 1 year ago
This is a great read. Gives you a peak into a life unfamilar to most. It was an interesting read and left you really caring about these girls.
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