The Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison – Book Review

I must admit that when I first picked this book up, I wasn’t sure that I would like it. After all, this is about Mormons and I was worried that it would be like the few “Christian Fiction” books that I’ve read – they pray a few times, and then everything magically works out for the best. But this book wasn’t like that at all.

First of all, this book is basically a thriller with misogyny, spousal abuse, incest and possible murder all wrapped up together. I really found myself liking the main character, Linda Wallheim. She’s a stay-at-home Mormon wife; along with being the “Bishop’s Wife”. How many women are either “the spouse of” or “the mother of”? When my kids were young, I was simply known as my sons or daughters mother. No name; just their mother. This is true in social situations with my husband’s work mates. I’m just “his wife”. I seem to have lost my own name. The same happens on a routine basis to Linda. Her life revolves around her sons and her husband. So, when she questions her life choices and the teachings of the Mormon Church I understand exactly what she’s saying. In fact I’ve asked myself many of the same questions that she asks herself.

As is true of many people, I don’t really understand much of the Mormon religion, but that was never much of a problem with grasping the workings of the church since Harrison does such a good job with explaining exactly what she’s talking about. I was pleased to see how she worked the truth of misogyny and abuse into the novel. With great power, such as the power that the Mormon Church (and many of the “Born Again” varieties of Christianity) gives to the husband, there is a definite need to watch for abuse of this power, as this book points out.

 

So, do I recommend this book? Oh yes! There is a possible murder (or two), possible spousal abuse, and mysteries to unravel. The best part of this book as far as I was concerned, was the story of Linda Wallheim. A woman who questions her life and choices is a woman I want to know more about. And to top it off, she’s trying to solve the variety of mysteries that she encounters. A good book, and I encourage you to read it!

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