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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Love Times Three



by Joe, Alina, Vicki, and Valerie Darger with Brooke Adams
audiobook: 9.25 hours
narrated by Jamie Lurie, Eliza Foss, Kathleen McInerney, and Karla Kendrick

About the Book

Joe is Independent Fundamentalist Mormon and he has three wives. Together they wrote this book to help counteract the often incorrect assumptions about their culture and way of life.  Told through four perspectives, the book gives a look at the reasons behind their decision to live a polygamous marriage and the challenges and blessings that are part of their everyday lives.

Why I Read It

I was a huge fan of the HBO series Big Love and am fascinated by people who can make polygamous marriage work. This book sounds like a realistic look at a successful family; I wanted to see how they do it.

My Thoughts

One of the first things that caught my attention was the fact that this family was part of the basis for the HBO series Big Love; series creators pulled lots of details from a magazine article that profiled the Darger family anonymously. Apparently the show included quite a few situations that were taken directly from the Darger's life. Of course there were lots of other situations that were purely created for the show (and Joe was quick to point those out).

Another interesting part of the book for me was the actual relationship between Joe's wives. Alina and Vicki were cousins who both became interested in the same man. Knowing that they wanted to be part of a plural marriage they decided to pursue Joe as a pair. About ten years later, after the collapse of her own plural marriage, Vicki's twin sister Valerie became Joe's third wife. An usual situation in so many ways.

The "everyday" part of the book was the most fascinating to me, dealing with sister wives and loads of children and sharing a husband. And of course there were the logistical challenges of a family with 24 children (5 in diapers!). Since I have just one child this was the craziest part of the book for me - I can't imagine dealing with a family that large, let alone sharing my husband with other wives.

This book was a quick and easy listen. It gave me a lot of insight into a culture, religion, and lifestyle that I am not all that familiar with.  I found it well written and well narrated, and definitely worth listening to.

17 comments:

Amanda said...

Wow, that sounds really interesting and not a perspective that you see very often!

Alice said...

Oh, this looks way interesting. *adds to to-read list*

bermudaonion said...

I'm fascinated by polygamy and have this book to listen to. I've never seen Big Love, and hope I don't need to see it to appreciate the book.

avisannschild said...

I just saw this book for the first time yesterday! Like Kathy, I'm fascinated by polygamy and really interested in reading a book from the perspective of consenting adults (rather than by women who've escaped the nightmare of underage/forced marriage, etc.). I have to get my hands on this one!

The Joy of Booking said...

I've been really looking forward to reading this one - I love the connection to Big Love and a totally different look at polygamy. I thought their book trailer was really interesting.

Alison's Book Marks said...

I can't wrap my head around polygamy. Maybe I should read this book to find out how this works! Thanks for the review!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

This is a perspective we don't often hear - as Avis said, we usually read the viewpoint of women who have left polygamous relationships. Very interesting.

And 24 kids? 5 in diapers? YIKES!

softdrink said...

I'm glad you mentioned how the wives were related, because I was thinking that they all looked alike!

Heather J. said...

Amanda - It was certainly a different perspective!

Alice - I hope you enjoy it.

bermudaonion - You don't need to have seen Big Love Kathy. It adds something to the book, but the book completely stands on its own.

avisannschild - These people entered this family knowing full well what they were getting into, and WANTING it. It was a fascinating story!

The Joy of Booking - I liked the book trailer as well - it gave a great idea of what the book is about.

Alie - I can't imagine living like that myself, but I do sort of see the appeal ...

Dawn - YIKES is right! I could hardly deal with the stress on ONE child. :)

softdrink - I know, right?!

stacybuckeye said...

Polygamy is one thing that I just cannot generate any interest for. I always feel sorry for the kids.

Kailana said...

I read this book, too, and I agree with what you have to say. I really must see the show Big Love. I thought that when I read the book, but I still haven't actually got around to it. :)

Jenny said...

I saw them promoting the book on Dr. Phil. I am sort of fascinated their lifestyle. Even though I don't necessarily agree with the lifestyle, I did like all of them.

Heather J. said...

stacybuckeye - I find it rather fascinating, even though I wouldn't want to live that way.

Kailana - The show is very good, albeit it a bit dramatic at times. :)

Jenny - I'm glad they came off well on TV - the definitely presented themselves well in the book.

Bybee said...

When I saw the picture, I thought, "Man, he really likes a certain type." Then I saw that they were sisters and cousins! This looks so interesting; I'm a fan of Big Love as well.

Louise said...

This looks really interesting. Whenever I hear about polygamous marriages and people say that they are happy I always wonder how that could possibly be true. I guess the best way to judge would be to look and see if I can get hold of this book.

Thanks for review....

Heather J. said...

Bybee - Yeah, that part was both odd and fascinating.

Louise - I think this book would certainly help you understand it more!

Shirley said...

I am glad to see that it was made known that Joe is Independent Fundamentalist Mormon which sets him apart from members of the Mormon church as they do not practice polygamy.

Love Times Three looks like it would be a fascinating story. While I can't imagine sharing my husband; the idea of that many children, especially five in diapers at the same time, is difficult to imagine. I raised five, only one in diapers at a time, but 24 in the same house with only one father would be difficult. How he maintains a personal relationship with each and every one of them and their personal perspectives on growing up this way would be interesting to know. Perhaps I will give this book a try now after reading your review.

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