Tag Archives: Polygamy

The Lonely Polygamist


Title: The Lonely Polygamist

Author: Brady Udall

Publisher: W.W. Norton, May 2010

Summary: Golden Richards is in a bit of a pickle. With four wives, 28 children and a failing construction business, he doesn’t see how he can lead his struggling brood through the next few months, let alone into the glory of eternal life. Heartbroken over the loss of a beloved daughter, he finds himself drifting further away from the responsibilities of life at home, staying at his distant job site for longer and longer stretches of time. Each day seems to bring a new challenge that  tests Golden’s faith – the only work he can find is building a brothel in the Nevada desert and the unexpected temptation he finds there is surprising. Devastated and desolate, Golden teeters on the edge of the abyss, all the while knowing that if he fails he will drag his immense family with him.

Set in the 1980s, this funny, heart-wrenching story, told in the voices of Golden, questioning newest wife Trish, rambunctious young son Rusty (a boy nicknamed ‘The Family Terrorist’) and the Richards’ house itself will  delight the fans of Udall’s first book The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint. It is a surprising, beautifully written story about reconciliation with your hopes, dreams, family, and place in the wider world.

Who will like this book?: This is a great book for all fans of family fiction, and serious literary readers. Anyone looking  for a long, engrossing book to savor this summer.

If you like this, try this: Udall’s debut, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian


Title: Escape

Author:Carolyn Jessop

Summary: When Carolyn was 18, she married Merril Jessop. She was his fourth wife. Fifteen years later, she took her eight children and fled, becoming the first woman to successfully win a custody case against a polygamist husband. In this harrowing book, Carolyn describes day to day life as a member of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and the monumental struggle she endured trying to protect her children from her petty and cruel ‘sister wives,’ emotionally abusive husband, and the community itself as it sank deeper into paranoia and religious fervor.

With the recent focus on polygamy in the Western U.S., this unforgettable book is as timely as it is fascinating. Jessop’s story is incredible, and her resilience and hopeful outlook are astonishing.

Who will like this book?: People who are interested in polygamy, or life in religious cults. People who like to read about the inner workings of, let’s say…non-traditional families.

If you like this, try this: Under the Banner of Heavenby Jon Krakauer. When Men Become Gods by Stephen Singular. Shattered Dreams by Irene Spencer

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian