Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke


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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Such an Unlikable Main Character

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall

Adult Fiction

Golden, the main character in this novel, is so easy to dislike.  For starters, he's married to four different women, none of whom he seems to love, and he has so many kids that he has to memorize their names in some sort of chant.  To top it all off, he's also contemplating having an affair.  Very sleazy guy.

Yet, I was enthralled with his story from the beginning. His young life was so very sad and, initially, I was hopeful he would be able to escape such a destiny.  But, Golden is a weak man and this book is the story of him letting other people direct him in whichever way they want.  He just does whatever he's told without any sort of backbone at all.  If it were only his story, it might be stretching the pleasure a bit, but the point of view changes to include other people in the books, wife #4 and a son.  Their stories are full of so much heart-ache and heartbreak that you find yourself hoping, somehow, things will work out for this huge dysfunctional family.

It's a hefty read, but one that seems to just fly along.  If you've ever been intrigued by the inner workings of polygamy, this seems as close as one could get without it being straight from a believer's lips.  Overall, the book hooked me and I just couldn't turn away until I saw what happened to every last one of the many characters.

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