Carolyn Howard-Johnson reviews Wives And Sisters by Natalie R. Collins
Wives And Sisters
By Natalie R. Collins
St. Martin's Press
Sisters and Wives Packs
More Than Suspense Between Its Covers
make it a point to read just about every piece of fiction set in
is because writing about this place requires more than research.
protagonist, Allison Jensen (Collins even knows the way
who enjoy true crime stories will be reminded of the Elizabeth Smart case
(although there are many differences): A young Allison watches her
friend's abduction by a bearded man and a young boy and Allison, at the
age of six, is unable to do anything about it.
Between this event and the strict climate provided by an ultra-conservative Mormon family, Allison is faced with both psychological and physical constraints. The story of how she builds the strength to overcome them affords enough conflict for any suspense reader. Even better, those who choose Wives and Sisters will come away from this reading with a bonus or two. Even those who know the place well may learn something more about an aspect of this unique culture. They may also sense the attraction of this place nestled at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains and even understand at a visceral level why it is so important that religion and government be kept completely and forever separated. That, for any reader, should put Wives and Sisters at the top of their bedtime reading list for 2005.
Howard-Johnson's first novel, This
is the Place, is also set in
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