Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Title: The Other Hand
Author: Chris Cleave
Sceptre, 2009 (2008)

It has been a while since I read this one by now, but something that stands out is the exceptionally well-crafted introduction, which is a rare thing! The blurb on the back is cryptic to say the least, but suffice to say it envolves corporate greed in a faraway land, a chopped of finger, and a child who claims to be Batman. The novel is fine if you find yourself in the literary off-season with nothing to read, but, unfortunately, the story does not match the fantastic intro, so you are bound to be at least a bit disappointed.

The 19th Wife

Title: The 19th Wife
Author: David Ebershoff
Black Swan, 2009 (2008)

I must admit that the subject matter - polygamy and the Mormon church - is something to draw a crowd, but this novel, although cleary opposed to polygamy and sectarian religion (which does not necessarily include the modern Mormon church) is well researched and interesting. As long as you remember that this is only one person's version of Mormon history, it is an entertaining introduction to the subject.

Two stories run parallell to each other: the 19th century-tale of Ann Eliza Young, one of the many wives of Brigham Young (second prophet of the movement) and a story set in modern-day Utah, where part of the Mormon church has broken free and created a hard-core, secretive sect. One husband is murdered by Mrs. 19. and her estranged son fights to prove her innocense. Sounds a bit cheesy, I admit, but if the topic interests you, you'll enjoy the read.