The Polygamous Wives Writing Club

  • by Paula Kelly Harline
  • Narrated by Paula Kelly Harline
  • 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints renounced the practice of plural marriage in 1890. In the mid- to late 19th century, however - the heyday of Mormon polygamy - as many as three out of every 10 Mormon women became polygamous wives.
Paula Kelly Harline delves deep into the diaries and autobiographies of 29 such women, providing a rare window into the lives they led and revealing their views and experiences of polygamy, including their well-founded belief that their domestic contributions would help to build a foundation for generations of future Mormons. Polygamous wives were participants in a controversial and very public religious practice that violated most 19th-century social and religious rules of a monogamous America. Harline considers the questions: Were these women content with their sacrifice? Did the benefits of polygamous marriage for the Mormons outweigh the human toll it required and the embarrassment it continues to bring? Polygamous wives faced daunting challenges not only imposed by the wider society but within the home, yet those whose writings Harline explores give voice to far more than unhappiness and discontent. The personal writings of these women, all married to different husbands, are the heart of this remarkable audiobook - they paint a vivid and sometimes disturbing picture of an all but vanished and still controversial way of life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good Variety of Experiences

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this book, but only in the paper or digital format because the performance was so incredibly distracting! The book followed the story of the ups and downs of the Mormon religion fairly well and dove into the lives of the early converts fairly thoroughly, illustrating how they felt clearly for those outside of the religion.


How could the performance have been better?

The reader could have performed like a human being and not a robot so that her performance would have reanimated the lives she was trying to bring to life. If she read something that was meant to be a question, the entire sentence sounded like a question, not just the final phrase/word(s). Her phrasing was horrendous and her performance was stilted; these issues ruined much of the book for me.


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- Amazon Customer

Great stories of early Mormonism!

This a great and detailed account of the many beautiful and tragic filled lives of early mormon settlers as they transitioned from polygamy back to monogamy marriage. It's an inside look of the real attitudes and perspectives from early Mormon women who lived it all. I strongly recommend this book to anyone seeking greater historical knowledge and understanding of early Mormonism, even if your area of interest isn't religious or polygamy related as mine is not. Awesome narration too!
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- Shane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-26-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios