Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Shattered Dreams

I have such mixed feelings about this book. I was so frustrated for--and with--the author. I know some of my feelings are blaming the victim, but she stays in the marriage so long yet tells her husband over and over and over she is going to leave, is mad, etc yet never does anything. The constant awful story/whining/author frustration was annoying to read knowing she wasn't going to do anything about it. She constantly would tell her husband she wouldn't do something (go to the wedding with the 3rd wife, for example) then she'd change her mind and do what he wanted.

In some ways, I think the culture of polygamists is so foreign to me that it's hard for me to put myself in the author's shoes to even understand her life or the way of thinking that got her there.

The author was born into polygamy, so she was indoctrinated into the belief that she would be going against God not to be in plural marriage. Yet, she allows herself to be treated terribly (guilt trip over getting her tubes tied so she doesn't die in childbirth?! after 13 kids?!) and live in horrible poverty in the name of God. I can't imagine that God wants one to live such a horrid life.

Verlan, her husband, was such a moron. He believed in plural marriage but practiced it at the expense of his family's health: mental, physical, economic, educational. His view was definitely quantity over quality. He never seemed to have any empathy for his wives, and 5 of them had left him by the time of his death.

I felt sorry for the author, but it was a frustrating read. If you are interested in learning about Mormon polygamists, this is a good book to read, but keep in mind the author's experiences ended in 1981. Jessop's story is more current. But, I couldn't put Spencer's book down.

1 comment:

  1. I find that I feel much the same frustration when I read any of these type books - it is such a foreign thing to be to even get my mind wrapped around it.