Ebershoff uses many styles from letters and journals to tell the story of Brigham Young's "19th" wife, Eliza,tho she was probably a lot higher number as Young didn't count the wives he was no longer having intimate relations with, the barren, and the old wives. Eliza leaves Young and the church to campaign for the banishment of polygamy and the horrible effect on the many wives, children and polygamous men, as well. I learned a lot of history which I enjoyed, but the last 100 pgs dragged so much I struggled for several days to make myself finish it. 'Course I have to read all the prologs, epilogs and footnote information. A worthy read, just for the historical information.
I loved this bk, which is a great historical fiction book. To quote another Amazon reader: "This book is vividly written and has complexity to the plot that continues to draw you in right up until the last chapter. The long lasting effects of war on people are brilliantly portrayed in the story. In post war Britain, the couple has every advantage- an intact family, a house, a car, a good job - but the lingering effects of what happened to them during the war destroy their chances to go forward. The son has been deeply influenced by his time in the forests avoiding both Germans and Russians and living off the land. In one scene his father shows him how to collect and save birds eggs and the boy can only think of how he wants to eat the eggs contents as he did so often in the forests. He has a particularly difficult time socializing and entering into normal relationships. It was heartbreaking and at times almost too sad to bear. In the end though this story is a triumph of the human spirit over adversity
Wow, what a long read. Over 650 pages of small print but very enlightening as to the divisive wars between the west African countries, their governments and rebels, the battle for souls between the Muslims and the Christians, the role of aid workers, gun smugglers and a lot of violence and grief.
Winner of the Booker Pulitzer Prize, various other awards, and a NY Times best seller for two and a half years. Story set before and after WWII in Germany and France, two warring countries, contrasting and interweaving the lives of the people about the Nazi occupation of France, about how radio broadcasts alerted the German military to covert actions and the French Resistance. Deeply moving, shocking, poignant, and irrestible. 10 years in the writing, this book is incredible. The alternating short stories can be difficult to follow, but that would be the only setback for e in reading it, highly recommend.
I loved this book. It was beautifully written and reminded me of books by Kent Haruf and Wallace Stegner. Great storyline and character development. Highly recommend! S compelling tale of the new West, and coming of age, out of heartache and abuse.