Independent Fundamentalist Mormon husband Darger and his three “sister wives” offer a candid, often engaging account of how and why they chose to enter into an outlawed form of marriage.
Best known as the inspiration for the controversial HBO series Big Love, all four Dargers were products of successful polygamist marriages. “[O]ur childhoods were great,” they write, “and were a big factor in our decision to pursue the same family structure in our own lives.” Darger met his first two wives, Vicki and her cousin Alina, when the three of them were preteens, but serious dating did not begin until high school. At that point, Darger was at the center of what he admits was “an unusual love story, even within the Fundamentalist Mormon culture.” With the blessing of all but one father, he began courting both Vicki and Alina, who in turn worked on solidifying the personal relationship they had with each other. After 18 months, the three married and began their lives together. Ten years later, in 2000, the trio welcomed a third wife, Vicki’s sister Valerie (who had left another, unsuccessful polygamist marriage), into their family. The tragic death of Alina’s newly born child in 2001 brought unwanted legal and media scrutiny into their lives, but rather than destroy the family, it “started [them] on the road to activism to fight anti-polygamy biases.” The Dargers do not evangelize for what they admit is a challenging lifestyle. Rather, with admirable honesty and dignity, they ask readers to respect their choice to live by the tenets of their faith.
Eye-opening and courageous.