Review: The Lonely Polygamist


July 7, 2011 by markstani

“The world is full of righteous women, good-hearted women, am I right? But how many good men? Righteous men? Just about none. Couple here and there, maybe. The numbers are outta whack, and that shouldn’t mean all the good women out there should have to settle for a bad man. It’s basic arithmetic is all it is.”

Golden Richards has four wives and twenty-eight children, last count. But he’s lonely. What’s more, his construction business is failing and his homes are being ripped apart by jealousy and petty rivalries. Then Golden takes a job at a brothel and falls in love. For Golden, while four wives may seem too many, they can also never be enough. Golden’s travails are both snort-out-loud funny and heart-wrenchingly sad. Ultimately, Golden’s flaws run so deep they have terrible consequences, and it’s hard to sustain so much sympathy for him as the climax pans out. But for the most part, this story of a highly dysfunctional American family with all its crazy, endearing characters will have you cheering them – all of them – from the sidelines. Brady Udall – author of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint – has fashioned another tragi-comic classic.

One thought on “Review: The Lonely Polygamist

  1. Portugal says:

    I'm fascinated by polygamists and tend to read every book on fundamentalist Mormons and polygamists that I can find. This book was very well written with moving prose and strong characterizations.The central family also is strongly rooted in reality. When shows like "Big Love" have polygamists in sprawling ranch homes, the near poverty the family lives in was refreshing to read.The book is a portrait of a family, not a plot driven novel or look at the more salacious details that one could associate with polygamist families.

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