From a luminous storyteller, a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large.
Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief: due to the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son, he has come to doubt the capacity of his own heart. Brady Udall, one of our finest American fiction writers, tells a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who, crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, becomes entangled in an affair that threatens to destroy his family's future. Like John Irving and Richard Yates, Udall creates characters that engage us to the fullest as they grapple with the nature of need, love, and belonging.
Beautifully written, keenly observed, and ultimately redemptive, The Lonely Polygamist is an unforgettable story of an American familywith its inevitable dysfunctionality, heartbreak, and comedypushed to its outer limits.
Family Home Evening
TO PUT IT AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE: THIS IS THE STORY OF A POLYGAMIST
who has an affair. But there is much more to it than that, of course; the life of any polygamist, even when not complicated by lies and secrets and infidelity, is anything but simple. Take, for example, the Friday night in early spring when Golden Richards returned to Big Houseone of three houses he called homeafter a week away on the job. It should have been the sweetest, most wholesome of domestic scenes: a father arrives home to the loving attentions of his wives and children. But what was about to happen inside that house, Golden realized as he pulled up into the long gravel drive, would not be wholesome or sweet, or anything close to it.
The place was lit up like a carnival tentyellow light burned in every one of the house's two dozen windowsand the sound coming from inside was as loud as he'd ever heard it: a whooping clamor that ...
Thanks to Udall's awesome ability to craft these lives and this place – the American west – Golden et al come off the page and join the reader ... I am going to miss Golden Richards. And Trish, Golden's fourth wife. And Cooter, Golden's bug-eyed dachshund mix who, due to an obsessive licking problem, occasionally has to wear tiny undershorts that once belonged to a Swingin' Baby Timmy doll and are "all white except for a yellow explosion on the rear, inside of which the words HOME RUN!!! were printed in blue." I am going to miss them and the dozens – yes, dozens, more than two dozen actually – of children that Golden has with Trish, and Beverly (wife #1), and Nola (wife #2), and Rose-of-Sharon (wife #3).
(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).
Full Review (924 words).
Estimates of the number of Mormon fundamentalists residing in the western United States, Canada and Mexico range from 20,000 to 60,000 (compared with over 10 million mainstream Mormons worldwide). Although there are numerous sects, the largest two are the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church) and the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). They each have 9,000 to 10,000+ members and both are headquartered in Utah, although the AUB also has a temple in Mexico. Not all sects espouse multiple marriage although many do. Exact numbers are hard to come by but it is thought that fewer than 15,000 are practicing polygamists.
Indeed, fundamentalist Mormons eschew the term "polygamy" as it implies multiple ...
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