He runs his own business and coaches Little League. She drives a minivan, and she'd be lost without her trusty BlackBerry. They go on date nights. Their kids attend public schools, play sports, and take music lessons. They live in a roomy house in the 'burbs. They're about as mainstream as families come. They're also polygamists.
For decades, polygamous families have been forced to hide their lifestyle. Men risk prosecution and economic blacklisting, and women face social isolation and faulty assumptions about what it means to live as a sister wife. But Love Times Three, the first-ever memoir of a polygamous family, is a riveting inside look at a world most of us can hardly imagine, revealing the extraordinary workings of the Dargers' day-to-day life.
Independent Fundamentalist Mormons, the Dargers grew up in polygamous families, and by the time they were in high school, they knew they wanted to live the Principle themselves. But in a highly unusual situation, even for their culture, both Alina and Vicki expressed interest in Joe at the same time. They ultimately courted him together and married him on the same day. Valerie, Vicki's twin sister, joined the marriage 10 years later.
The Dargers move the conversation away from child brides, Warren Jeffs, and the FLDS to more mainstream polygamists who willingly enter into plural relationships as adults. Rather than living in isolated communities, Independent Fundamentalist Mormons are similar to an average American family - except for their family structure.
In this intimate, inside story, the Dargers explain why they chose this path despite the pressures of keeping their relationships secret and the jealousy and personal challenges that naturally ensue, why they believe polygamy should be an accepted lifestyle, and, ultimately, why they hope that by revealing their way of life in public, laws that criminalize their lifestyle might change.
Written in the voices of the four parents, Love Times Three is the story of one man, his three wives, and their 24 children as they live out their faith in a world of prejudice, misconception, and fear, including chapters on the sister wife dynamic, one from Joe on how he juggles his three distinct romantic relationships, and a chapter from three of their children, entitled "My Three Moms".
Despite the risk of legal action, the Dargers know that it's time to counteract Hollywood's sensational interpretation and correct the general public's misunderstanding of polygamy with the truth. Now, for the first time, Joe, Alina, Vicki, and Valerie Darger lift the veil on their so-called taboo way of life.
©2011 Joe, Alina, Vicki, Valerie Darger and Broo (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers