Joe is Independent Fundamentalist Mormon and he has three wives. Together they wrote this book to help counteract the often incorrect assumptions about their culture and way of life. Told through four perspectives, the book gives a look at the reasons behind their decision to live a polygamous marriage and the challenges and blessings that are part of their everyday lives.
Why I Read It
I was a huge fan of the HBO series Big Love and am fascinated by people who can make polygamous marriage work. This book sounds like a realistic look at a successful family; I wanted to see how they do it.
One of the first things that caught my attention was the fact that this family was part of the basis for the HBO series Big Love; series creators pulled lots of details from a magazine article that profiled the Darger family anonymously. Apparently the show included quite a few situations that were taken directly from the Darger's life. Of course there were lots of other situations that were purely created for the show (and Joe was quick to point those out).
Another interesting part of the book for me was the actual relationship between Joe's wives. Alina and Vicki were cousins who both became interested in the same man. Knowing that they wanted to be part of a plural marriage they decided to pursue Joe as a pair. About ten years later, after the collapse of her own plural marriage, Vicki's twin sister Valerie became Joe's third wife. An usual situation in so many ways.
The "everyday" part of the book was the most fascinating to me, dealing with sister wives and loads of children and sharing a husband. And of course there were the logistical challenges of a family with 24 children (5 in diapers!). Since I have just one child this was the craziest part of the book for me - I can't imagine dealing with a family that large, let alone sharing my husband with other wives.
This book was a quick and easy listen. It gave me a lot of insight into a culture, religion, and lifestyle that I am not all that familiar with. I found it well written and well narrated, and definitely worth listening to.