The Story of an Unconventional Marriage
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A behind-the-scenes look at the life of a celebrity polygamist family.

The authors, Kody Brown and his wives (Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn) tell their story sequentially, writing alternating chapters in each of the five parts. They begin with Kody's first (and only legal) marriage to Meri in 1990, and then describe how the couple brought the next two sister wives, Christine and Robyn into their family. This provides the back story to the real-life drama featured on their popular reality TV show, Sister Wives. After the first episodes aired, the family fled from Utah to Las Vegas to avoid threatened legal prosecution for bigamy. The authors explain that they are members of a Mormon sect that subscribes to all the tenets of the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—plus one more: “the principle of celestial plural marriage,” which is sanctified by a church ceremony. Readers hoping to find out more about the Mormon faith in general will be disappointed, and the authors are clear to distinguish their faith from that of the Fundamentalist LDS, which was led by convicted child molester Warren Jeffs. The authors do not explain the specific spiritual issues underlying their decision to embrace polygamy. They write movingly about their decision to reject the secrecy imposed on polygamous families, the new strains of their celebrity situation, the inevitable problems inherent in their marital situation, and the joys of raising 17 children. Sister Wives has finished its fourth season amid rumors of a fifth marriage and lawsuit against Utah by the family.

A different take on married life, of broader interest because of the issue of same-sex marriage and Mitt Romney's membership in the LDS.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6121-7
Page count: 290pp
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2012


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