Friday, October 31, 2014

Fifty Years in Polygamy

Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets, Little White LiesFifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets, Little White Lies by Kristyn Decker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read a lot of biographies & have read a few on polygamy, and was interested in reading Decker's story/memoir about her life in polygamy. I always have a really, really hard time in reviewing memoirs because I feel like I'm reviewing a person's life, not their book, and how does one review someone's life?

Kristyn (born Sophia) was born into polygamy, raised in the faith, and married into the faith. Unlike most of tales of polygamy, Sophia "only" had one sister wife, so her book was really interesting because it was so different. Her life was full of abuse (sexual, emotional & physical) and lived a life of neglect and poverty, which caused her much mental distress (including an addiction to food).

That being said, I found it very difficult to get into the book based upon Decker's very choppy writing style (my review copy was also full of numerous spacing issues, from lack of spacing between words to lack of spacing between paragraphs, all of which I assume is fixed in the final version). Sophia/Kristyn was also very, very, very good at "playing the martyr". I'm sure you have one of those in your life, where no matter what, the person just isn't happy, is always the wronged one, is always the one making the big sacrifices, is always bending over backwards to make everyone else happy and of course, they are perfect in every single way. Between Sophia's constant playing the martyr/"poor me" syndrome, her constant "foreseeing" of truths (i.e. she "knew" what sex her children would be; she knew various men were perverts; she "knew" when one of her kids was in trouble; she "knew" she was going to have one more child because her future child "spoke" to her, etc etc), her constant back and forth ranting and raving, etc., it made it very hard for me to like Sophia.

On the other hand, that was the whole point of the book. This is a memoir, after all, and it's here to tell Kristyn's/Sophia's story of polygamy, and naturally that includes all the horror stories often associated with stories of polygamy, like incest, abuse, poverty, jealous, hatred, etc. She's telling her side of it, and no matter what, you have to feel for what she went through.

And regardless, it's a fascinating tale that will get you to learn about a lifestyle that's probably way, way different from your own.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion/review.

View all my reviews


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