Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Becoming Sister Wives - The Brown Family

The Browns are just like any other American family, except that they aren't.  Not quite. The Brown family has one super-daddy, lots of well-adjusted kids, and four mommies. Yes four. Oh, and don't forget their hit television show on TLC.

In Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage, Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn Brown share their stories of how each became involved in the polygamous lifestyle, how they met, married, and developed their large, extraordinary, American family.  They also  share both the benefits and the pitfalls of their lifestyle and explain how and why the family decided it was ordained that they should go public and share their family with the television viewing world, despite their fears of prejudice and judgement.

After reading this book, I can begin to wrap my head around polygamy and why some families might choose it, which I think is the whole point of the book...just helping others to understand and accept. Not that I'm sitting the hubby down to discuss adding anyone to the household anytime soon, but I do...kind of...get it. It’s an unconventional love story, yes — but one I am glad they shared.

As I enjoy the TLC show, I was looking forward to reading this book. The first section of the book, the marriage section, was quite interesting learning each person's history and point of view of the religion and lifestyle. The following sections (family and celebrity), however, were a disappointment. Each cycles through the four wives points of view on the same subject.. But I really didn't need to hear each of them tell me that Janelle works outside the house, that Christine did a lot of the stay at home mom stuff, that Meri likes to keep her furniture nice and therefore won't let the kids jump on it, or they each do their own grocery shopping  and discipline one another's children. Really, once would have been fine. And that would have left room for each wives to tell us more about different areas of their lives that were not discussed. It was almost like...either they didn't think they had anything interesting to say, or they were really more interested in keeping much of their lives private.

Overall, the book sort of seemed like a companion to the television show, not a stand alone memoir. That is a shame as a few years from now it will be defunct, whereas it may have been a really interesting memoir for years to come had it been done right. Though I would guess this was an editor's error, and not the writers. The writing was reasonable and entertaining.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.


Jeane said...

Hm. I used to watch the show Big Love and found it quite interesting but a lot of it seemed to be high drama for tv. This one sounds like it's more realistic. I was starting to think the book might be interesting to learn more about what makes people actually live in this kind of family, but it sounds like most of it is kind of repetitive and not as insightful as I'd hope.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Something for everyone in this world, isn't there? Not my thing either, but interesting take on the book. Always enjoy reading reviews.
Silvia (from A to Z Challenge)