Murakami Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


The Powell's Playlist | August 6, 2014

Graham Joyce: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Graham Joyce



The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit is set on the English coast in the hot summer of 1976, so the music in this playlist is pretty much all from the... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

The 19th Wife

by

The 19th Wife Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Faith, I tell them, is a mystery, elusive to many, and never easy to explain.

Sweeping and lyrical, spellbinding and unforgettable, David Ebershoff's The 19th Wife combines epic historical fiction with a modern murder mystery to create a brilliant novel of literary suspense.

It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family's polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.

Soon after Ann Eliza's story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds-a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father's death.

And as Ann Eliza's narrative intertwines with that of Jordan's search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith.

Review:

After weathering the scrutiny and debates kicked up by Mitt Romney's run for the White House and Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect in Texas, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints probably deserves the rest of the year off. But, lo and behold, here comes an engrossing new novel that resurrects one of the Mormons' most destructive opponents: Ann Eliza Young, a beautiful, articulate woman who once... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Great fun to read with its enticing characters, swift dialogue, and neatly structured plot, Ebershoff's sensitive and topical tale...provides much food for thought in the mode of such seriously popular writers as Jodi Picoult, Anna Quindlen, and Andre Dubus III." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"The 19th Wife is a big book, in every sense of the word. It sweeps across time and delves deeply into a world long hidden from sight. It offers historical and contemporary perspective on one of the world's fastest-growing religions and one of its oldest practices, and in the process it does that thing all good novels do: It entertains us." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Ebershoff takes a promising historical premise and runs with it....Reminiscent of Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose in scope and ambition, though the narrative sometimes drags." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The 19th Wife succeeds in illustrating how the same issues have spanned great temporal changes in polygamist culture. And although its period-piece chapters about Ann Eliza prompt apprehension, they sustain interest and come alive." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"[Ebershoff is] able to strike an authentic feel without subjecting us to the bone-dry and overly mannered language of the period. He makes Jordan's voice feel authentic, too, and somehow the contrast between the modern and historical passages is not jarring." Charlotte Observer

Synopsis:

This new novel from the author of The Danish Girl and Pasadena is a spellbinding work of literary suspense, set against the history of the Mormon Church, that combines historical fiction with a modern-day mystery.

About the Author

David Ebershoff is the author of two novels, Pasadena and The Danish Girl, and a short-story collection, The Rose City. His fiction has won a number of awards, including the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Lambda Literary Award, and has been translated into ten languages to critical acclaim. Ebershoff has taught creative writing at New York University and Princeton and is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. For many years he was the publishing director of the Modern Library, and he is currently an editor-at-large for Random House. He lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

dgrassel, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by dgrassel)
An intriguing look at the history of polygamy in the Mormon church and the modern day practices of polygamist families and communities.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Stephanie Patterson, August 17, 2008 (view all comments by Stephanie Patterson)
This is a tour de force certain to please both lovers of murder mysteries and lovers of historical fiction The very talented Mr Ebershoff intertwines a contemporary murder mystery narrated by the alleged murderer's gay son (Did mom, the 19th wife of her radical Mormon husband, murder him?) with an account of the life on Ann Eliza Young, the apostate 19th wife of Brigham Young. This entertaining and absorbing novel is also a cautionary tale about religious zealotry.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(14 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
Wendy Robards, July 29, 2008 (view all comments by Wendy Robards)
Ann Eliza Young was a plural wife of Brigham Young in the late 1800s. Her life, including her very public divorce and attack against Celestial Marriage (which spurred the passage of the Poland Act, and ultimately forced the LDS Church to ban the practice), is the basis for David Ebershoff’s third historical novel The 19th Wife. Ebershoff weaves the fictionalized version of Ann Eliza’s story with that of a present day plural wife, her son and a murder mystery.

Ebershoff’s writing engaged me immediately, especially when he speaks in Ann Eliza’s voice. He includes letters, newspaper reports and occasional other narrators to construct a complete picture of the life of this interesting historical female character. I was less engaged by the parallel story from present day. It was during those parts of the novel where I remembered I was reading a book. At times the plot felt contrived to connect to Ann Eliza’s life, and I never really related to the primary narrator who is the son of an accused murderess.

At times, Ebershoff tends to ramble a bit, but he quickly gets back on track and moves the plot forward. His portrayal of the first Saints is not entirely flattering and this may upset some people. But, he relies heavily on the history of the LDS church and its leaders to weave his tale, and for that he cannot be faulted.

The novel is a real door stopper at nearly 600 pages (I read an Advance Reader’s Edition) but despite its length, it is a fairly quick read which speaks well of Ebershoff’s direct and compelling prose. I would be interested to read Ebershoff’s first novel The Danish Girl, loosely based on the life of Danish painter Einar Wegener who became the first man to undergo a sex-change operation in 1931.

This novel will be released by Random House August 5th. For those readers who like historical novels or who are interested in the history of the LDS church and its leaders, this is a book you might like.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(25 of 46 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400063970
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Ebershoff, David
Subject:
Mormons
Subject:
Polygamy
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Publication Date:
20080805
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 ILLUSTRATION
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
9.48x6.60x1.36 in. 1.91 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The 19th Wife
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 528 pages Random House - English 9781400063970 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Great fun to read with its enticing characters, swift dialogue, and neatly structured plot, Ebershoff's sensitive and topical tale...provides much food for thought in the mode of such seriously popular writers as Jodi Picoult, Anna Quindlen, and Andre Dubus III."
"Review" by , "The 19th Wife is a big book, in every sense of the word. It sweeps across time and delves deeply into a world long hidden from sight. It offers historical and contemporary perspective on one of the world's fastest-growing religions and one of its oldest practices, and in the process it does that thing all good novels do: It entertains us."
"Review" by , "Ebershoff takes a promising historical premise and runs with it....Reminiscent of Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose in scope and ambition, though the narrative sometimes drags."
"Review" by , "The 19th Wife succeeds in illustrating how the same issues have spanned great temporal changes in polygamist culture. And although its period-piece chapters about Ann Eliza prompt apprehension, they sustain interest and come alive."
"Review" by , "[Ebershoff is] able to strike an authentic feel without subjecting us to the bone-dry and overly mannered language of the period. He makes Jordan's voice feel authentic, too, and somehow the contrast between the modern and historical passages is not jarring."
"Synopsis" by , This new novel from the author of The Danish Girl and Pasadena is a spellbinding work of literary suspense, set against the history of the Mormon Church, that combines historical fiction with a modern-day mystery.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.