Fifteen-year-old Sara and her beautiful sister, Rachel, are too young to legally drive a car but are approaching spinsterhood in Utah's secret polygamist Blood of the Lamb community. Having long since reached the "age of preparedness," they will soon be married off to much older men chosen by the hidden sect's revered Prophet.Read more...
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Fifteen-year-old Sara and her beautiful sister, Rachel, are too young to legally drive a car but are approaching spinsterhood in Utah's secret polygamist Blood of the Lamb community. Having long since reached the "age of preparedness," they will soon be married off to much older men chosen by the hidden sect's revered Prophet.
As Sara, chosen to become her uncle's fifth wife, grows more distraught over her impending incestuous marriage, she begins to scrutinize the faith she has followed blindly her entire life. But for Rachel, who will be married to one of the many powerful community leaders vying for her hand, disobeying the Prophet means eternal damnation. Her friendship with the newest member of the community, the young and handsome Luke, starts as an attempt to save his agnostic soul, but ends with the pair falling helplessly in love. When Rachel is forbidden to see him, her absolute faith in the Prophet is severely tested.
When Rachel's future husband is finally announced, violence erupts, and the girls must find the strength to escape the only life they have ever know before it's too late.
Claire Avery has woven a stunning tale that could be ripped from today's headlines. Shocking and empowering, "Hidden Wives" is a page-turning debut that will stay with the reader."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 86.
- Review Date: 2010-04-26
- Reviewer: Staff
This undistinguished debut by the pseudonymous Avery (two sisters who were raised in a fundamentalist Catholic community) focuses on a horrifically oppressive Utah religious sect. Young female members of Blood of the Lamb, like sisters Sara and Rachel Shaw, are generally wedded by the age of 15, “assigned to be sealed for all time and all eternity in a celestial marriage.” Male members, by contrast, can only attain the highest level of heaven by taking at least three wives. Prophet Silver, the movement’s leader, decrees that Sara must marry her father’s half-brother, and singles out the attractive Rachel for his own special attention. Both girls, after exposure to the outside world, consider leaving the community. The violence, sexual abuse, and the predictable consequences of inbreeding aren’t for the faint of heart, but readers should also be prepared for more melodrama than drama. Betty Webb does a better job with the contemporary polygamy theme in Desert Lost. (June)