Things are rarely as they seem.
Though there’s many lessons in The Bishop’s Wife, this truth lies beneath them all. To Linda Wallheim, the wife of a prominent bishop in a Mormon community, life seems fine until a young woman from the community disappears—an occurrence the woman’s husband (and the bishop) quickly explain away.
Obviously, with a suspected murder and a cast of gray characters, mystery is a strong force in this novel. What makes this work unique, however, is the context. Mette Ivie Harrison, the author, is a devout Mormon herself and uses the story as a clarifying introduction to the world of her faith. The story is also loosely based on true events, adding to the intrigue.
Harrison paints a world that is many things—richly detailed, secretive, intricately plotted, character-driven—but, above all, controversial. Reviews on Goodreads and Novelist show that most readers either love it or hate it, leaving few in the middle ground. This doesn’t come as a surprise. Some claim Harrison’s world is untrue to real-life Mormonism while others find it accurate; some find the characters fascinating while others don’t agree with their portrayals.
More than anything, this is the type of book that longs to be discussed. Everyone is bound to have an opinion on such a bold work as this, and readers seem to reach different conclusions about the morals of the story. If you’re looking for a novel that will get you thinking and your blood pumping, check it out.
And, if you find that you just can’t keep your thoughts to yourself, join us at Global Brew (December 28 at 7pm) to discuss your views!
Thanks for reading. –Autumn
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