Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Betrayal by Dianne Noble

Mormonism and polygamy have become somewhat popular of late, and given the nature of the subject, I can understand why. Most people can't imagine living in a plural relationship, sharing one man with multiple wives and children. It goes against everything we consider normal in our culture so we're intrigued to find out what makes these people tick.

The Betrayal and The Sister Wife, book one in this series, shed some light on the beginnings of the movement we know as polygamy today. It's story centers around Gabriel MacKay and the three women he brings into his marriage; Mary Rose, Bronwyn, and Enid. All though the relationship between Gabe and Mary Rose starts off as a typical monogamous one, the Mormon church quickly fills its followers heads with thoughts of celestial glory through the eternal union of sister wives. As they explain, the more women a male brings into heaven, the more exalted his position. They will all be sealed together awaiting the day each husband calls his wife into heaven by her secret name, given at the wedding ceremony in sacred trust and future expectation of coming other worldly delight. 

Mary Rose never buys into this hype but her position is tenuous at best when church leaders pressure Gabe into taking another wife, who also happens to be her best friend. How far can she and Bronwyn go in their quest to follow the "will" of Heavenly Father, even if it means treading a false path? And is it too late to right a wrong once it's been done?

Instead of rehashing all the storyline details, I want to instead focus on the writing by author Dianne Noble. She does a great job of giving details but not overloading us with too much information that isn't relevant to the story. Her descriptions of characters and various event are well drawn and easily relateable. The plot is fast paced and doesn't lag, keeping readers invested in the plight of those we've come to know. By the end, we're truly rooting for them to somehow find their way out of the muddled mess they've created for themselves. 

The final circumstances are left rather ambiguous, opening the door for a third book, which I'd love to see. Instead of leaving off where the polygamy aspect does, it would be interesting to witness the aftermath and directions each character takes. All in all, kudos to Dianne Noble for bringing us into this interesting, unpredictable, world with finesse and eloquent writing which I won't soon forget. Please give us an update on Gabe, Mary Rose, Bronwyn, and Enid in the near future!

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