Reading guide for The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Lonely Polygamist

by Brady Udall

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall X
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2010, 602 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2011, 608 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. What were your views on polygamy before reading the book? Did they change after you finished reading?
  2. Discuss Golden's progression from lonely polygamist to social polygamist. How does a renewal of faith assist this transformation?
  3. Compare and contrast Golden's behavior at the two funerals. How are they similar? In what ways are they different?
  4. How does Glory affect the other family members and Golden in particular?
  5. Discuss the motifs of creation and destruction that appear throughout the novel.
  6. Do you think Rusty is a representative figure for all of the Richards children in the novel, or is he in some ways unique?
  7. Trish is one of the most conflicted mothers in the novel. What do you think of her decision at the end? Was it the right thing to do?
  8. How has the family changed at the conclusion of the novel? Do you think they are happy with their decisions?
  9. Discuss Rose-of-Sharon's reaction to Rusty's accident. Do you think you would have reacted the same way if you were in her place?
  10. Why do you think Golden isn't able to consummate his affair with Huila?
  11. Physical appearance is described with exacting clarity throughout the novel. Golden is described as bucktoothed and "Sasquatch," and Glory as "lopsided" and "overstuffed." Why do you think there is such a heightened awareness of the body?
  12. What is the effect of polygamy on the women in the novel? How do you think their lives and personalities would be different if they weren't in a polygamous relationship?
Free Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of W.W. Norton & Company. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Mormon Fundamentalists

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.