Saturday, February 26, 2011
The Sister Wife by Diane Noble
I love to read trilogies with characters developed over the entire series, rather than those that go on to become a mere mention in each successive book. If I truly fall in love with the character, I want to see more of them in the next book and I feel cheated if they only show up at the family gathering on Sunday afternoons. The problem with trilogies, of course, is waiting for books number two and three. Usually, before I finally get to read the third one, I re-read the first two – just to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything.
But it’s not just any trilogy series that I’ll invest that kind of time in. And the ones I do, absolutely end up on my keeper shelf.
Today I want to share the first book in a Historical Christian Fiction series that I’m positive will end up on that keeper shelf. The Sister Wife, by Diane Noble, is the first book in the Brides of Gabriel Series. Yes, you read that correctly. Brides – plural. As in plural wives. One man, and more than one bride.
Before you read further, you should know I won’t be giving away anything that can’t be assumed from reading the back cover copy. There are no spoilers in this book recommendation.
Set in the early days of the Mormon Church, The Sister Wife absolutely captivated me from the very beginning. Of course, the back cover blurb is intriguing all on its own:
What if the man you loved told you God wanted him to take another wife? What if that woman was your best friend?
I love books that are different; and I especially love Christian fiction where the characters are far from perfect. So that blurb was enough to convince me this would definitely be something different. And once I opened the book and read the first pages, I knew I wasn’t doing anything else until I finished the book.
Newlyweds Mary Rose and Gabriel, are both converted to the new religion of the Saints on board a ship traveling from England to America. When she first hears rumblings about plural marriages, she’s hard pressed to believe it. But Mary Rose’s disbelief soon turns to reality when she learns Gabriel has been ordered by the prophet Joseph Smith, to take a second wife. Did God truly ordain this? And if so, is He the same God Mary Rose knew and loved before she converted to this new religion?
Author Diane Noble effectively delivers her message of God’s unfailing love for us as she skillfully interweaves Mary Rose’s struggle to accept the unacceptable. It’s made even more difficult when she’s told that if she refuses to go along with it, she’ll be punished as an apostate and won’t ever make it to the Kingdom of Heaven.
With a couple of other intriguing subplots, and the fact that the Mormons are being persecuted, there is a lot of depth to this book. And once you get to know the second woman Gabriel is supposed to wed, you’ll have a difficult time disliking her. That fact alone makes this book far from predictable.
Incredibly well-researched, the book is made all the more fascinating to anyone who has ever done their genealogy and discovered this type of history in their family tree.
I’m eagerly waiting for the second book, The Betrayal (due out in July), because I can’t wait to see where Diane Noble takes us next. To learn more about this gifted author and her books, you can visit her website at: www.dianenoble.com. I'm also including a link to an article about the book on CNN that you might enjoy reading: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/14/noble.sister.wife/index.html?hpt=Sbin#
Question for the day: Can you imagine being in Mary Rose’s shoes, a newlywed, devoted to your prophet, believing with all that is in you that he has the direct ear of God, and then he says you must let your husband marry another woman?
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