I found this book interesting if a little slow paced. The subject matter held my attention and the main characters were really well written and complex.
Deborah Tyler’s husband is late returning home from his work as a wheelwright. In his place, she assists a stranger who is fleeing the law because he has more than one wife. However, the law is close behind and the consequences of getting caught could mean the ruination of the place she calls home.
This was...interesting. I’m not sure what I expected when I began reading this one. Deborah is a Mormon, who has seen the destructive and hurtful results of polygamy. She and her husband have settled in an area where they can worship more freely, and not be judged for being childless or having a monogamous marriage. She chooses to help fugitive men because of the children: the families of these men would be devastated if the head of the family is jailed.
The story is told a few chapters from her brother-in-law Nels Tyler ’s point of view, and then a few chapters from Deborah’s point of view. Both characters struggle with their faith and the decisions made by the head of the church. Nels is haunted by a disturbing event in the church's history years before. Interspersed are a few letters written by Samuel Tyler, making the tension of his absence grow with each day.
Overall, though it wasn’t an immediate favorite, it was a well-written novel. I would recommend this to historical fiction readers.
The Glovemaker was from a time that I have not read a lot of books about. I thought it was well written and a quick read.
I wanted to read this book because it is about a period in history and about a religion I am not familiar with and I was not disappointed. Deborah is a complex character in a tough situation. It was a little slow at times but a good portrayal of the time period.
The style of writing is engaging, but for me it was more of the storyline that wasn’t grasping for me. And this is due to personal preferences. Before requesting this book, I was hesitant if this was something I wanted to read. And it got confirmed that this was not a book for me due to the storyline.
Those who lived in the canyons of southern Utah knew them to be inhospitable to even the hardiest of settlers and travelers. Deborah waits for word from her husband Samuel, who has been traveling as a wheelwright. He is late arriving, and as she is alone as winter sets in, Deborah worries. But, she is an amazingly strong and resilient woman, despite the adversity and struggles she has endured.
Deborah and her husband, while not practicing polygamy themselves, are part of a network that helps men who are being pursued by lawmen because they are polygamists. Men show up at their farm and knowing the proper codes are given food, a night's rest and a guide to the next outpost as they outrun the law.
The story alternates viewpoints between Deborah and her husband's best friend and step-brother Nels and reads almost as a narrated journal from each person. But, even with both perspectives, this is very much Deborah's story. As she narrates her experiences, the pace is slow, but flowing and her descriptions are vivid and her explanations of the practices of Mormonism at the time are accurate and I found myself sympathetic to her conflicting thoughts and doubting faith.
So many authors who tackle the subject of Mormons and polygamy, often do so from an angle that is derogatory and critical of the people who practiced it. I appreciated that the author did not do that. Instead, she wrote about it from the sensitive viewpoint of an LDS woman who does not necessarily support the practice of polygamy, but understands that people of her faith do and who, because of her compassion can't turn away men who are fleeing the law.
The subject of polygamy is one that isn't simply black and white, especially for those who practiced it. Deborah's story shows us the complexities involved in the decisions made to take additional wives and in the reactions of the first or previous wives.
This was my first Ann Weisgarber novel, but it won't be my last. This is a story that resonated and stayed with me.
THE GLOVEMAKER is a story that takes place in the winter of 1888 deep in a remote valley in Utah. This valley is home to a tiny town known as "Junction." It's residents are all Saints (as in the Latter Day variety).
This town is home to only seven families, all of them having drifted away from the strict rules of the church, and most of them did not agree with the practice of polygamy.
This book is based on a real life village and real life families, so it is history mixed with a giant dose of fiction and imagined characters. It is human nature to wonder about the lives of those who came before us. In THE GLOVEMAKER, author Ann Weisgarber has richly imagined an entire town, with backstories for all the characters readers encounter as the story moves along.
I read this book in a single day and found myself wrapped up in the life of the main character; thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler. She is my type of woman. She is a tough as nails (but with a squishy heart) take-no-prisoners kind of woman.
In 1888 a woman living alone for months on end while her husband travelled the territory fixing and making wagon wheels had to be tough. She had to be resilient and she had to be hard working.
I found the fact that the villagers were all Latter Day Saints to be an interesting twist. And including some actual history of how the government saw the people who practiced that religion might be eye-opening for many readers.
I enjoyed the story and I give Ann Weisgarber kudos for the historical research that went into the writing of this book. I rate THE GLOVEMAKER as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
**** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.****
The Glovemaker marks my first encounter with the work of Ann Weisgarber and I can’t say I’m disappointed with my experience. Though a little slow for my liking, the novel delves into some complex subject matter and I liked how it made me think about the characters and the issues that shape them.
Deborah Tyler is a woman of faith who questions both the traditions of her community and those who persecute her fellows for the practices they exercise. Her story centers on emotionally charged questions of both ethics and faith in the face of adversity and I loved how it emphasized the gentle grace and quiet courage of the heroine.
I thought the ending predictable but found it so sensitively drawn that I was not disappointed by it. I also enjoyed Weisgarber’s exploration of the Mountain Meadows Massacre and life in the Mormon settlement of Junction.