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Home > Archive: November, 2009

Archive for November, 2009

Some thoughts on a book borrowed from the library

November 24th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Haven't made a post in a while, but been kind of busy. First things first, tomorrow I pay $350 more dollars on the car loan, which brings me down to approx. $3340. I also REALLY need an oil change. So on my day off tomorrow, I hope to get that done. Maybe I can find a coupon somewhere? Just bought a new phone for $20, because my old one was real crappy. Got a new contract which I'll have to pay $18 more dollars on this bill which brings it to almost $40, but I love my new phone (Motorola Karma). Not really frugal mind you, but ya'll have no idea how much I hated that old phone and I liked the way this one looked. The last one I liked was stolen in the break room at work! I gave the old one to my sister.

So anyway I thought I'd write a blog about a book that I just recently finished called Shattered Dreams: My life as a Polygamist's Wife. This book is quite thick, but was never slow or boring. It is basically a memoir of as you might guess a polygamist's wife.

Although the author had a chance to marry a man who loved her and her alone, she chose to marry a man who already had one wife. So she became the second and there were many others! Some of the wives, especially the first and the author became jealous of the others even though they thought they knew what they were getting into by marrying him. He told them from the first that he planned on marrying at least 7 seven wives in order to make a quorum of wives. And he definitely completed his life's work! The man had to make a lot of sacrifices to do this including splitting up his time with each wife, and sometimes not even seeing them for months at a time. And it seemed that everytime he did spend time with a wife, she ended up pregnant. After he married the author, the family of four (Him, his first wife, their child, and the author) moved to Mexico because they would have more freedom to practice their beliefs.

The family was always dirt poor, especially as the husband kept adding more and more wives to the family, and therefore more children. The wives had to make their own sanitary napkins, and rarely had toilet paper. The author sometimes had to wear her husband's pants because she had no maternity wear. They often made clothes made out of flour sacks. Toys for the children were very rare and were often simply party favor toys (like whistles) or second-hand.

What's more is that birth control was a terrible sin. After the author had something like 11 or 12 kids, a doctor recommended she have no more kids because of health issues. The husband's response to this was that they couldn't have sex anymore. The author desperately wanted to get her tubes tied, and eventually got her wish after one more child, but not after much condemning from her neighbors and the church. The family was always trying to help each other with farming and things and trying to bring in money, but the husband apparently lived in a fantasy world where he assumed God would provide for all of his children even when he wasn't bringing in much money or simply not enough. The author was raised in a polygamist family in which her dad had the same problem as her husband in which he just couldn't bring in enough money for all the children. His wives eventually left him.

The book was also very frustrating because the author wants to leave her husband several times but is afraid she'll never see her children again. Although she tries to remain a good wife to her husband, she is always emotionally frustrated with never being able to be with her husband, as well as financially frustrated because there is rarely enough basic needs to go around. Her husband ended up with 10 wives, and 58(!) children. Can you imagine trying to help provide for all these children??

I enjoy reading memoirs such as this because it really puts one' s own life into perspective and makes one think (depending on the life), "At least I'm not in that situation!" I also would like to recommend it to any bookworms on the SA blogs because I know there's a few out there.