ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
With more than a quarter million books in print, Diane feels incredibly blessed to be doing what she loves best—writing the stories of her heart.
For the last three years Diane has been honored to be lead author for the popular Guideposts series, Mystery and the Minister’s Wife (Through the Fire, Angels Undercover), and has recently returned to writing historical fiction. She is currently writing book two of her new historical series, The Brides of Gabriel. Book one is The Sister Wife.
Diane’s hometown is Big Creek, California, a tiny village nestled in the rugged Sierra Nevada back country. As a child, Diane’s older brother Dennis fueled her creative streak by entertaining her with his own gift of storytelling. Growing up without TV and iffy radio reception, Diane became an avid reader, inhaling more than one hundred novels—both YA and adult—in a single year by the time she reached seventh grade. Her passion for reading continues to this day.
Now empty nesters, Diane and her husband live in the Southern California low desert, near a place known for the lush and beautiful gated communities of the rich and famous.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in the heart of the earliest days of a new nineteenth-century sect known as the Saints, The Sister Wife is a riveting account of two women forced into a practice they don't understand, bound by their devotion to Prophet Joseph Smith.
When Mary Rose marries Gabriel, neither of them could foresee how quickly the community would turn to the practice of plural marriage. Devastated when Gabe is faced with an order from the Prophet to marry her best friend, Bronwyn, Mary Rose tries to have the faith to carry through with the marriage.
But can she really be married to the same man as her very best friend? Can Mary Rose and Bronwyn face betraying both their husband and their God to do what they feel is right?
If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of The Sister Wife, go HERE.
Watch the book video!
I found this story fascinating on a number of levels. For one, I love historical fiction of any kind, and the closer it is to real life events, the more I enjoy reading it. Second, my husband is an ex-Mormon and his ancestors date back to Brigham Young's bodyguards, so we're talking a lot of family history there that parallels the story. The only difference is that in my husband's ancestry there are no plural wives, but then again, they weren't high ranking church members, either. Almost all of his family members are still involved in the church. I've learned that Mormonism is a unique culture that has many issues, all of which are strongly rooted in the teachings of Joseph Smith. The author showed that in a convincing, yet unbiased manner. That was no easy task.
Diane Noble clearly knows how to capture readers heart and make them care about the characters. I loved how real everything felt from the ship voyage to Gabe and Mary Rose falling in love. I also loved how the author portrayed several situations as they really were, including how people were pulled into the teaching of the Saints at that time despite it going against what they were taught to believe as children. It showed how intelligent people could set aside what they were taught in order to have faith in something that didn't have any foundation or that could be verified.
My emotions got really involved in the story when Gabe took his second wife. Mary Rose was so trapped at that point, as was Bronwyn. Their conflict was well portrayed and captured every tedious angle, from the petty jealousies, to the need for affirmation and love from Gabe. Simply put, wives were never intended to share their husbands. This story just brings that fact to life when it's demonstrated through the characters' lives. It was never God's plan (plural marriage) even if it had a verifiable basis in history. I also found the persecution scenes to be believable, and I was afraid for Gabe and Mary Rose. The whole story was so compelling! I can't wait for the sequel, especially since it hits even closer to home because of history and location. My husband's ancestors arrived in Salt Lake about six months before the Mountain Meadows massacre. I'm sure the sequel will bring me back in time as effectively as this book did.
A copy of The Sister Wife was provided to this reviewer by the publisher, and was released in July 2010. I was not compensated in any way for my review.