One, two, three, four, and finally five wives make for a fool’s paradise and that is what Brady Udall gives Golden Richards in The Lonely Polygamist. If the women of the Mormon polygamist communities were the ones recording the divine laws as well as administering them, and if only women were accepted as religious and community leaders, then I could say maybe. In Udall’s novel the polygamists of Virgin Valley as are the living communities of the American West are ruled by men, men only.
With all those wives and children the novel is well populated, but most only produce background noise and traffic. The ones the author works on become known to the reader in sorrow and pain. These are not happy campers although they are often comic.
Despite keeping my distance from the plygs I could not help myself. There was breathing, personness to like in Rose, Nola, Rusty, Glory, and Trish. And when Ferris hits his teens, look out. June Haymaker and Golden Richards prove that a good man can be strange and seriously flawed, and still be a good man.
This book is stressful for competing authors who watch the Amazon Bestsellers Rank, but they must remember that Udall’s ranking is skewed by his large Mormon family. Yes, he is of the political Udalls and they all are fiercely proactive in promoting the name. Every Udall mother is buying copies for yet unborn grandchildren. So relax dear authors. Let him stay ahead of you. Charles Marlin