Title: Hidden Wives
Author: Claire Avery
Publisher: Forge Books
Publication Date: June 8, 2010
Paperback: 336 pages
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 selected 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 known…before it’s too late.
Having eclectic reading tastes has many advantages, one of them being that I come across a variety of books I can, without a doubt, categorize as one of the best I have read in whatever the genre may be. Hidden Wives by Claire Avery is just such a book. A riveting and emotional story, Avery takes the reader deep inside The Blood of the Lamb community, a polygamist sect in Utah, telling the story through two sisters, recently turned 15-year-old Sara and her almost 16-year-old sister Rachel, who share a father but not mothers. The Prophet Silver has decided that Sara shall become her uncle Walter Merrick’s 5th wife as soon as her older sister’s wedding occurs. Rachel, being a modest, shy beauty has heard many claim God has said she is to be the one. Avery describes in extensive detail the daily lives of the Blood of the Lamb community, especially what it is like for the women. Sara has her doubts and the reader is able to view the changes in her, whereas Rachel’s faith in the Prophet Silver is unwavering, even when she is confronted with views that conflict with the teachings she has grown up with. When Luke’s family joins the sect, he does not even pretend to believe and his friendship with Sara and Rachel expands their views. Hidden Wives is an emotional and suspenseful story of life in a fundamentalist sect, the isolation, the despair, zealotry, and loss of identity that come along with belonging. Hidden Wives compels the reader’s attention through vivid imagery, details, and unforgettable characters delivering a powerful and enlightening read. This book is definitely one of the top books I have read in this genre this year. I would recommend Hidden Wives to everyone.
Claire Avery is a pseudonym for a writing team of two sisters, Mari Hilburn, an attorney, and Michelle Poche, a journalist and screenwriter. Hilburn and Poche live in Texas.
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I received a complimentary copy of Hidden Wives by Claire Avery from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.