Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sister Wife

Sister wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka.

Celeste lives in an isolated community called Unity where polygamy is a way of life. At 15 each young woman is assigned to a husband as divined by the community’s ruler, The Prophet. Now fifteen, Celeste waits to hear who she will be matched with, dreading the decision. Unlike her thirteen-year-old sister, Celeste doesn’t want to marry. She questions the divinity of their community and longs to make her own choices about the future.

The story is told through the eyes of several people, notably Celeste, her younger sister Nanette and Taviana, a teenaged girl from outside the community who was rescued from the streets.


When Taviana leaves The Movement, one of the first places she finds is a library. When someone from the community joins her – and others – she takes him to the library as well. Yay! Libraries!

In some ways the story shows both sides of the polygamy (and 15 year old bride) story. Nanette can’t wait to be married. She loves their lifestyle and feels that it is the right step to enter heaven. Celeste questions everything.


The librarian offering Taviana a job running the children’s Summer Reading Program. As a youth librarian I found many issues with that little section of the story, starting with Taviana having at most a middle school education.

At times the narration bored me.
While I somewhat see why the author included the character of Craig, I mostly found him to be unnecessary.


I know I saw this book on a list, which prompted me to read it, but I can’t recall what the list was.

With the popularity of shows such as Big Love and Sister Wives, this might be of interest to some older teens.

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