← Book Main
Secrets & Wives

Secrets & Wives

The Hidden World Of Mormon Polygamy (Soft Skull Press)


"... From his telling beginning, a quote from Bob Dylan, Bhattacharya is amusingly off and running, and readers will want to follow his punchy magazine-trained voice wherever it may lead; "dating is verboten in Centennial Park. Only God decides who hooks up with whom." His access into polygamist compounds is impressive, and the subjects that accept him into their home are given ample room to make the case for or against the practice. Ultimately the author finds polygamists to admire, polygamists who are amusing "nutjobs," and polygamists who are utterly terrifying. He inserts himself into the narrative from page one, often voicing the skepticism he expects of most readers ("I believe that the title of this book has already pissed off several million people."). As the story unfolds, focus shifts more inward, and Bhattacharya examines his own spirituality in a move that feels less like a tangent than his obvious, if unexpected, destination." - Publishers Weekly

" ... Bhattacharya gained impressive access inside the polygamist compounds, weaving a fascinating and entertaining tale that is as much about his attempts to understand these fringe dwellers and their ideology as it is about their ideologies themselves. The author becomes a character in the book himself as he turns his journalistic lens inward and examines his own spiritual and cultural ideology with the same unblinking candor and disarming humor. " - Cathleen Falsani, Huffington Post, Recommended Summer Reading

"... British journalist Sanjiv Bhattacharya pushes past caricatures to show what Mormon polygamists are really like. Part cultural reportage, part personal musings, the book chronicles the author’s yearlong journey into America’s fundamentalist Mormon communities... a sensationalist smackdown this is not." - Slate, Double X Book of the Week

"... this is a riveting read for both Bhattacharya's wry and heartfelt style and the nature of the material." - Library Journal

"Shows like Big Love and monsters like Warren Jeffs have opened a window on the dark world of Mormon polygamy, but journalist Bhattacharya sheds blazing new light on this incredible diverse society with his superlatively entertaining new book. Irreverent (he believes the title alone has “pissed off several million people) and whipsmart, Bhattacharya gains unprecedented access to a world where the smallest packet on a grocery store has twelve of whatever it is you need. He cheerfully hangs out with polygamists on their compounds, revealing a complex world where polygamy is presented as a feminist choice (you can work because other wives handle the household chores!), where different compounds have different rules (the dress code ranges from prairie dresses to mini-skirts) and where sects routinely flout laws about incest, child labor, rape and welfare fraud. While many polygamists talk to Bhattacharya in hopes of promoting and protecting the order, others tell horror stories, and in between Bhattacharya lets us in on his own spiritual leanings in a way that is both personal, profound and grippingly entertaining." - Caroline Leavitt, NYT Bestselling Author (Pictures of You