Shelley Hrdlitschka’s Sister Wife tells the story of three girls growing up in a polygamist group. The chapters alternate between the three – two sisters and a girl who has been living with the girls’ family since someone found her living in the streets. One sister hates the FLDS life and the other loves it (although I don’t think they ever came out and said it’s FLDS, just made references so I am making a HUGE assumption). Taviana, the homeless girl, occasionally misses her life in the world she once knew with television and the ability to wear what she likes, but she is content in the group, helping the women take care of the kids. Celeste loves her family and friends, but cannot ignore the fact that she yearns to do something more than be a housewife. She would love to be something like a vet and marry a boy her own age, chosen for love, not assigned to an older man by the prophet. Nanette, her sister, wants nothing more than to get married and have babies.
Celeste cannot resist the draw of the boy down the street and is tempted by his thoughts about leaving the group. She also begins to interact with a guy who lives in town. Because her brain is occupied by all these boys, she is surprised when Taviana is forced to leave the group and return to life on the streets. Can Taviana survive on the streets without returning to her old life? Has Celeste found love? Will Nanette be allowed to marry despite her age?
This was a quick read. I didn’t realize until I finished it that it was published by Orca, who has a line that specializes in high interest/low reading level books. I really like the way this book ended – it’s realistic. The characters drew me in, although I occasionally wanted to smack Nanette. Overall, I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in reading about an unusual lifestyle like polygamy, although I will mentioned that you won’t learn anything that you haven’t already learned from something like Big Love.