This was a bit of a slow start in the beginning and I just couldn't help but feel that the storyline would have been much more interesting if it was a short story rather than a full length novel. Crazy idea, right? Not enough action for my tastes but I did find the historical record interesting.
And she waits. Samuel is late returning from his circuit trip as a wheel maker in Utah. His stepbrother (her neighbor) Nels travels with another to look for Samuel. They find a rockslide, but no definite proof of Samuel and any trouble. So, she waits. Deborah Tyler and the small community make up Junction, Utah.
Junction (which is modern day Fruita in Capitol Reef National Park) was a stopover place for polygamist Mormons on the run from the US Marshalls. There was a LOT of mistrust between the government and the Mormon settlers of Utah. That is a grave concern in this story for the sect of Mormons who have made Junction their home.
The book is primarily set over a 2-3 day period when a marshall comes to Junction on the heels of a particular polygamist. The small community must band together.
This book was unexpectedly good. I went into ready to DNF it, but it actually held my attention all the way through. The book centers around Deborah and Nels and a third character, Samuel, who you hear from in letter format. I'd guess about 70% of the book is told in Deborah's voice, 25% in Nels's and the last 5% from Samuel.
This book takes place mostly in January and February of the year 1888. Samuel is off fixing wheels and looking at rocks, just as he does every year. Only this year there's a little difference: something happens while he's away. A stranger comes to the door. He speaks to Deborah and in a few quick sentences she ascertains that he needs her help - but she won't help until morning. It's too dark to see the trail, she explains, and it's rugged terrain. Next morning comes and she gets him where he needs to go - and then things go a little sideways.
This was a good book. It kept me guessing and thinking the whole time. It was well crafted and well researched (the book is pretty much as historically accurate as possible). The book came to a satisfactory conclusion. 4 stars, and I will be reading more from this author. Tell me what you think once you read it!
Utah in the dead of winter is so bleak, so inhospitable and very dangerous for travellers. Deborah lives in Junction a settlement of just eight families. They part of the Mormon community have moved here to set up a new life for themselves. The purpose seems to be not to be a rigid community having the bishop overlooking every aspect of their life but to be members of the community with views and a mind of their own.
At the same time, Junction is a point where Saints come through who are being pursued by the law mainly for the transgression of polygamy. With multiple wives, which in the law's view was an aberration, they are actively pursued these polygamists, their property seized and confiscated, the men thrown into prison and forgotten and they seem to be on the run to a safer area. Junction is a through point for them and Deborah and her husband Samuel unwillingly along with Nels help these men on their way.
When a man turns up in bleakest January, ready with all the signals that signify that he is a fugitive and safe for Deborah to help, she still however feels that something is not quite right. Passing him on to Nels to take him through the rest of the journey she returns home to find a Marshall skeptical of her answers and determined to follow the man. What follows is a disaster for not just Deborah and Nels but also for the whole community who now have to rethink their own future and the safety of their families. With Samuel missing for over four months now, feared dead Deborah herself must think of what she is going to do.
Very interesting reading because it also showed that all church goers were not blindly following their leader but also had views of their own. Polygamy is a thorny subject - even here where a Muslim is legally allowed more than one wife - but peeking into a Mormon household gave one an idea that the principle of polygamy was distasteful to many. It promised a celestial paradise for those that followed it, but that was very convenient (in my opinion!).
I had previously read The Promise by Ms. Weisgarber, I still remember how great it was and so I was very delighted to receive an advanced copy of this little gem from the publisher and NetGalley ahead of publication.
This is a really, really good story, but when it was over and you sit back to relish what you have experienced, you realize you didn’t cover much ground. This entire tale takes us thru about 5 ½ months of Deborah, Samuel, Nels, Michael and other members of a small community in Utah. The story is told mainly by Deborah as she awaits her husband Samuel, a wheelwright, (wheel maker/fixer) in the late 1880’s to come home from traveling. This small, 8 family community, are Mormon’s, Latter Day Saints that have decided to not practice the multiple marriage philosophy and live entirely by themselves trying to stay protected from the outer world. Leary of strangers and the law, in the dead of winter, they are visited by two strangers, and their lives are interrupted.
What the book lacks in covering ground, it does take you on a deep journey of learning how this community supports, lives and breathes the Mormon faith, how they perceive their devotion to god, their marriages, the expectations of men or women behavior in an isolated land and the winter landscape is absolutely breathtaking. I re-read a certain passage describing a meeting in the schoolhouse multiple times just because it was so awesome, an eye twitch, a clenched hand, each character was described, it was remarkable writing.
Even though the book didn’t end as I would have wished, I would highly recommend for anyone that loves historical fiction. This is an awesome book by a very talented author.
I was allowed an advanced copy from Skyhorse Publishing through Net Galley for my honest review, this one is a high, really high 5****’s. Excellent read.
Not sure why the title is called The Glovemaker. Not really relevant to the story. Even though there’s not a whole lot of dialogue in this story it still lends to the suspense of what’s going on and the fear of what the community is going through. This is about a very small Mormon community who, not without hesitation and trepidation, help Mormon men who practice polygamy in other communities find freedom from the U.S. government who will persecute them. The geographical area in this story is an actual place where an actual Mormon settlement took place. I personally find the history of Mormons from early on fascinating, especially where polygamy is concerned. The author does a good job of letting the reader feel the emotions particular individuals are going through.
This was a good enjoyable read. I discoveted a new author who had a great idea. This book was original. It was a slow read thought. It was not action packed but its pace was steady.
I would not recommend this for everyone. This is a book that, for me, is a in-between. After a great read, this is the kind of book I need to continue my reading spree.
A good book. A slow book. Something easy to read.
I will read more from the author tought!
* Thank you for yhe team who gave me this ARC!*
I was glued to this read. The author's skill for creating such an intriguing plot is to be praised for. A well-researched narration with clear and precised story. I surely did enjoy reading this book.
Highly recommended if you are looking for a well-absorbed story with good characters in it. .
In 1888 a cluster of Mormon families live in Junction Utah. Most of them do not believe in plural marriage but still they feel threatened now that polygamy is illegal. Deborah is home alone waiting for the return of her delayed husband when a stranger knocks on her door needing help. Against the feeling of unease in her gut she lets him in and starts a course of events that changes everything. Slow and atmospheric, this book kept me enthralled.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately in WW II HF that I’ve ventured off to other eras and locations for the time being. Utah in the 1880’s is heavy with Mormons, the aftermath of the Mountain Massacre and killing of its leader, Joseph Smith, leaves a bitter taste for some. In a little place called Junction a late night caller sets in motion a series of events with everlasting consequences.
I will admit at the beginning wondering if this book was for me. First off I was excited when the first chapter featured a male POV, it's not common so when it happens I get excited. Of course, the whole book was divided between his (Nels) and Deborah’s story. Why was I a bit iffy you ask, well I found the first female chapter a little repetitive with the same feelings, emotions repeating itself. I found myself casing judgment on Deborah's character before really getting to know her. As the story progressed those feelings quickly disappeared. It wasn’t just a story of what was happening in the now but memories resurfaced where I got to know both Deborah and Nels better. How they ended up in this little place with few neighbors and away from Mormon communities. The author wove those jumps in time seamlessly, with an ease that made this story flow at a nice pace.
The Glovemaker is a unique mystery, it’s a story of survival, hope, and faith. Ann Weisgarber is a new author to me with her previous books now gracing my tbr pile. Definitely a book I recommend, especially to those that like a good historical mystery off the beaten path.
My thanks to the publisher (via Netgalley) for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review.
I enjoyed this book and found it fascinating. I have always been intrigued by the faith and this book reveals some of the history.
The setting is also a huge part of the book
This book was good and I willl read more by this author
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book
Weisgarber's new historical novel is based on an actual settlement in Utah by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The settlement was very small, in the 1880s when the book takes place only seven families lived there. Though LDS members, six of the families did not practice polygamy nor did the town have a bishop as was usual in an LDS settlement. Church leaders questioned their faith.
Deborah Tyler is the barren and only wife of Samuel, a wheelright who travels through the rough Utah landscape going from settlement to settlement mending and replacing wagon wheels. This year he hasn't arrived home before winter weather set in. As a woman alone Deborah is put in a bad situation when a strange man appears at her door. He is an LDS member running from U.S. Deputies who will arrest him because he has more than one wife. There have been others come to the Tyler door and like them this man is trying to make his way to Floral Ranch where he will be given safe haven. Deborah is frighteningly aware the law will be close on his trail and if they find him there or even learn he has been there she will be arrested too. She and Samuel could lose the house and property where they have planted and nurtured orchards.
The man's arrival begins a sequence of events that will challenge faith, ethics, and love by Deborah and others in the community. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, The Glovemaker presents history of the LDS readers may not know. The location of Junction, an actual town, is inside the Capitol Reef National Park where the orchards of the LDS settlers are still maintained. It was a visit to the Park that inspired Weisgarber to research and write about the settlers there.
The Glovemaker was not what I expected. I'm not familiar with the Mormon faith, and for this reason, I couldn't connect with this story. I believe anyone familiar with the Mormon faith will enjoy this book. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
The Glovemaker is about a remote community inhabited by Mormons, but not necessarily devout ones. The author does a good job with the the story line and with her descriptions of the rugged terrain in Utah. I think a better title could have been used. The story lagged in some places, buit overall it's a decent read.
I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review.
Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried. When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down.
Good story. The weather and the bleakness of living conditions plays a vital part of moving the story forward.
I have a confession - I always looked at The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS for short) as a nuisance with their door to door visits and unasked for phamplets. Ann Weisgarber, through her novel The Glovemaker, has unintentionally forced me reevaluate my opinion towards this sect.
The reader gets a glimpse of the Mormon religion through the eyes of thirty seven year old Deborah Tyler, one of the many children of a polygamist father who was baptized and followed the Prophet Joseph Smith from Ohio (until Smith was murdered in Missouri) and then traveled with Brigham Young to Utah where the family settled.
Through Deborah’s narration we gain a better understanding about the Mormon beliefs and the difficulties they experienced from their disapproving neighbors who went so far as to murder their leader forcing them to move from their homes in fear for their lives. Not that the Mormons were guiltless, blamed for the Massacre at Mountain Meadows in retaliation for the death of Smith, but that mishap occurred when Deborah was only six years old.
Now over thirty years later she has resettled in the Junction with seven other families, including that of her sister’s household and her husband’s step brother Nels Anderson (the other narrator). By moving away from their core families to a different location in Utah, this group of settlers, the majority who did not believe in multiple wives, were able to live their lives without the overview of a Bishop who had the authority to dictate their actions. While this might be viewed as sacrilege by some in their religion, they were all still Mormans at heart as witnessed by their willingness to help fellow Saints who were fleeing persecution from the Federal Deputies - gentiles who didn’t understand their ways and who considered polygamy a felony which must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
While this is a fictional story, the historical details are accurate as there really was a town called Junction settled by Mormons who had escaped the dictates of their religion but still followed their hearts in order to assist the “refugees” fleeing through the Cohab Canyon, twelve miles of rugged territory, to the safety and freedom found at the Floral Ranch. The reader can’t help but develop a sympathy for the persecuted LDS, much maligned by mainstream religion, especially during the 1880’s in the undeveloped territory of Utah as well as the surrounding areas of Arizona and Arkansas.
The simplicity of these people, where a sparsity of words spoke an unsaid message, is reflected in the narrative alternating between Deborah and Nels as the events of Winter 1888-89 unfolded, made more complicated by the continued absence of Samuel, Deborah’s husband, who had not returned when expected from his travels as a Wainwright.
While this novel is not action packed, the simple tale still grabs ones attention as the reader gets to experience a long ago time period out west with an unfamiliar people who the author is able to humanize.
Four stars and a thank you to both Edelweiss and Netgalley for providing ARCs in exchange for an honest review.
This review also appears on my blog, Gotta Read:
Thank you Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing for the ARC.
This is an intriguing chapter in Mormon history. One I knew nothing about and that kept me glued to the pages.
Utah Territory Mountains, 1888.
A man on the run after being charged with polygamy shelters in the tiny settlement of Junction before moving on to the safe haven of Floral Ranch.
A marshall chasing him also ends up in Junction.
The settlement consists of a few families who have left Carson in disagreement over dogma, while still practicing the Mormon faith. They call themselves the in-betweens.
One of them is Deborah, our glovemaker and main character, anxiously awaiting the return of her husband Samuel, a wheelwright, on his way home through the January snowfall.
The story has a slow but intense pace. It snows throughout the book, the landscape is bleak, the cabins cold, the mood dark. Vivid descriptions of scenery and indepth characters.
The Glovemaker is an unique story about love and loss, families looking out for each other and the white lies that are told while trying to do the right thing. An impressive read.
This is one of the best historical novels I've read. The characters come alive and I finished the novel in one day an went looking for more information on the time period always a great sign I recommend to any lover of historical fiction
Wow! Such a great read, so sad to have finished it! I’ve lived with Deborah and Nels for the past week, feel like I know them. The hardships of those pioneering families, originally drawn by the promise of a better life by Brigham Young and his followers to inhospitable places. A stranger who passes through their community turns their lives upside down in more ways than one.
The story is told from Deborah and her brother-in-law Nel's perspectives. Deborah Tyler's husband is a wheelwright and late in returning home from his work. While Deborah waits, a stranger arrives at her doorstep seeking help.
She is afraid of harboring the man because he has multiple wives and on the run from law enforcement. If she gets caught, devastating consequences will follow.
Deborah is a Mormon who has left her family with her husband to live freely in a place where she won't be judged for being childless or practicing monogamy. Although she detests polygamy, she helps the men who are polygamists because she knows that if the men are jailed, the children and the women will be left penniless.
This book is inspired by a real-life village and real families with a hefty dose of fiction thrown in. It is a wonderfully written historical fiction novel where you can see a war between ethics and logic. I will post a full review about it on my blog.
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC.