Golden has four wives, roughly a billion children, three houses, and wayyyyyyyyyy too many complicating factors in his life. His fourth wife Trish is confused, lonely, sexually frustrated (and taking really horrible sounding sex advice from Cosmo), and overwhelmed by this manic life she thought she wanted. His son Rusty is kind of a weirdo, rejected, forgotten, a little bit of a pyromaniac and too precocious for his own good. These three narrators weave together a story of a family that is being held together by the very thinnest of ties.
I loved The Lonely Polygamist. I really did. Yes, at times I couldn’t get Big Love out of my head, but the voices of these characters are incredibly affecting. Through their successes and failures (mostly failures, really), the reader begins to question the idea of family. What is it really? A clan? A support group? People thrown randomly together? And what keeps us there? How do we deal with familial losses and additions? What sort of sister wife would I be???
Thrown in some spectacular writing, and you have a winning novel.
“Because this, after all, was the basic truth they all chose to live by: that love was no finite commodity. That it was not subject to the cruel reckoning of addition and subtraction, that to give to one did not necessarily mean to take from another; that the heart, in its infinite capacity-even the confused and cheating heart of the man in front of her, even the paltry thing now clenched and faltering inside her own chest-could open itself to all who would enter, like a house with windows and doors thrown wide, like the heart of God itself, vast and accommodating and holy, a mansion of rooms without number, full of multitudes without end.”
Well played, Brady Udall. Well played, indeed.