Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka

In a place called Unity, a teenager named Celeste is having a difficult time maintaining her faith.  She and her family belong to “the Movement,” where members abide by a very strict moral code.  Despite the existence of modern conveniences like dishwashers, the people of Unity continue to do most of their work manually.  One of the most difficult things Celeste has to deal with is the fact that girls are the property of their fathers and then grow up to become the property of their husbands.  There is no such thing as free will or choice. Marriages in Unity are not monogamous, either…   That’s where the name “sister wife” comes in.  Men are married to many wives, and the women work together to raise all of their children and to maintain the household as it rapidly and steadily increases in size.  Women bear as many children as possible, without medical intervention, even though some have been known to die in childbirth.  This worries Celeste, since her own mother is pregnant with a seventh child and appears to be having medical complications.  For Celeste, the idea of an arranged marriage to a much older man — someone who is old enough to be her father — seems repugnant as well.  But she sees no way out of her fate.  When Celeste starts to experience lustful thoughts about a boy her own age and begins to show other “willful” behaviors, she brings shame upon her family and the community elders agree that she needs to be dealt with quickly so that she will not be a bad example to other girls in Unity.

This unflinching look at life in a strict, religious, polygamist community is not judgmental in any way, but it certainly provided me with enough information to see that it’s not the life for me…

Happy Reading!

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3 responses to “Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka

  1. Hi Chrissie,
    Thanks so much for reading Sister Wife and for reviewing it. I reallly enjoyed writing it!

    Happy reading to you ~
    Shelley Hrdlitschka

  2. Pingback: My Life in… » Blog Archive » QuickReview: Sister Wife by Shirley Hrdlitschka

  3. Pingback: The Chosen One: A Novel by Carol Lynch Williams | Librarina: Great books for Tweens & Teens

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