Avon, Jul 26 2011, $12.99
In 1842 Nauvoo, Illinois, Mormon prophet Joseph Smith proclaims God says polygamy is acceptable. He directs married shipbuilder Gabriel MacKay to take a second wife, recently widowed Bronwyn and adopt the Latter’s daughter. Though the widow has some doubts as she loves her future husband’s first spouse Mary Rose like a sister while also attracted to Gabe, she marries him with the stipulation of no physical contact (see The Sister Wife).
However, increasingly Bronwyn falls in love with her husband who promised to protect her. The second wife struggles with her vow to her beloved Sister Wife who miscarries after a fall. Gabe kisses Bronwyn who feels divided emotionally as she wants more but cannot betray her beloved Mary Rose though she feels her treacherous heart has done so. When Enid announces to Bronwyn she will soon wed Gabe, the second wife has issues with the practice of polygamy as the number of wives per husband grows, the age of the brides drop considerably. On the journey to the Promised Land surrounding the Great Salt Lake that the Prophet saw in a vision, Gabe’s first two wives want to escape the marital imprisonment, but Brigham Young has spies everywhere.
The second Brides of Gabriel is an intriguing historical tale that once again looks at polygamy as did The Sister Wife. In the first tale, the relationships in the multiple marriage families displayed an economic underpinning to care for widows and children. The Betrayal provides a fascinating story line that digs deep into the actual practice as brides were increasingly “enslaved” young teens and no one was allowed to speak out against the Word. Americana readers will appreciate this profound tale as The Lord’s Prayer inspires us to forgive the trespasses of others, but as the Brides of Gabriel know that is difficult to do.