Wagons and Wives: A Novel of Early Utah
Wagons and Wives is a novel that could be true. It weaves toghether the lives of early Morman settlers in Utah, and in the breakaway polygamous colonies in Mexico. Neither romanticized nor judgemental, the stories depict individuals' feelings and struggles, against a backdrop of early Mormonism.
Maud, the ''bad girl'' who carries a terrible secret; Louisa, the little girl trying to understand the mysterious ways of grownups; Belinda, the ''second wife'' whose husband must choose between her and his first; and Hodie, struggling with enormous guilt over his past; all come alive in their conflicts, dreams, tragedies and hopes.
Besides the challenges of building a life from nothing in a new land, the families in Wagons and Wives struggle with polygamy - first, the conflicts and sacrifices of living with in it, then coping with the sudden pronouncement that it is no longer to be practiced. Go into hiding? Flee to Mexico? Abandon wives and children to fend for themselves? The fascinating tapestry of characters makes Wagons and Wives a unique look into this peculiar time and place in history.
Also by Larene R. Blaine: Backtracks: Growing Up in the Depression.
This is the inspiring true story of the author's childhood - an astonishing account of survival and a girl's determination to overcome her circumstances. The granddaughter of Mormon polygamists on both her father's and mother's sides of the family, Larene is born into poverty and a culture that does not value ''book learning'' or ambition and intelligence in females.
Her mother is soon incapacitated by poor health, and Larene becomes the family's Cinderella - taking on all the household chores. But she harbors a fierce desire to learn and excel in school. Her inner strength and unwavering focus on her goal to better herself lead her to achieve nearly impossible feats, including going to college - unheard of for a girl in her poor uneducated family during the Great Depression.
It's a story of heartbreaking disappointments and the triumph of faith and sheer will of a little girl to achieve her dreams, against all odds. Buy your copy of Backtracks: Growing Up in the Depression from Amazon.com or your local bookstore.