“Becoming Sister Wives” – Kody, Meri, Christine & Janelle Brown

Quick Statistics

  • “Becoming Sister Wives by Kody, Meri, Robyn and Christine Brown
  • Non-Fiction Memoir
  • Read as an ebook.
  • 4/5 stars
  • Finished on February 24, 2014

Official Synopsis

The stars of the hit show Sister Wives present an uncensored, unedited look at life in their plural marriage.

In many ways, the Browns are like any other middle-American family. They eat, play, and pray together, squabble and hug, striving to raise happy, well-adjusted children while keeping their relationship loving and strong. The difference is, there are five adults in the openly polygamous Brown marriage—Kody and his four wives—who among them have seventeen children.

Since TLC first launched its popular reality program Sister Wives, the Browns have become one of the most famous families in the country. Now Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine, and Robyn reveal in their own words exactly how their special relationship works—the love and faith that drew them together, the plusses and pitfalls of having sister wives, and the practical and emotional complications of a lifestyle viewed by many with distrust, prejudice, even fear. With the candor and frankness that have drawn millions to their show, they talk about what makes their fascinating family work, addressing the topics that intrigue outsiders: How do the four relationships differ? What effect does a polygamous upbringing have on their children? What are the challenges—emotional, social, or financial—involved in living this lifestyle? Is it possible for all four sister wives to feel special when sharing a husband—and what happens when jealousy arises? How has being on camera changed their lives? And what’s it like to add a new wife to the family—or to be that new wife?

Filled with humor, warmth, surprising insights, and remarkable honesty, this is a singular story of plural marriage and all the struggles and joys that go with it. At heart, it’s a love story—unconventional but immediately recognizable in the daily moments of trust, acceptance, forgiveness, passion, and commitment that go into making one big, happy, extraordinary family.

My Thoughts/Summary

So I do have a major addiction to reality TV, and I really don’t have any shame in that. I also have an addiction to books whether fiction or non-fiction, which help me understand the human experience so much more. I’ve always loved the Browns and found polygamy so intriguing. I never really understood a “good” form of polygamy before their show, I’d only ever heard that “polyamory” was good and that “polygamy” could never work. To me, the Brown’s TV show proved me wrong. I found myself really identifying with these women. Seeing parts of myself in all four wives, having a favorite, liking some better than others, it seemed so natural to me. Ever since them, I’ve always said, that I truly believe that if polygamy is a life that consenting adults choose, go for it. Everyone has the right to choose the marriage and family situation they want to live in, and from what I’ve seen from the Browns, their kids are happy, and healthy, as well as encouraged to be their own person without judgement. Some of the best parenting I’ve ever seen…but onto the book!

The book is broken up into sections, and I really liked the fact that Kody didn’t…really write it. I was much more interested in the wives, their perspectives on things and how they differed. The book was divided into four parts: Matrimony, Sorority, Family and Celebrity. Each wife got their own chapter, and with the exception of the Matrimony chapters which were written by each wife and Kody, they were written by each wife exclusively. The chapters were in marriage order: Meri, Janelle, Christine and then Robyn.

I thought I would go into this book with just a few “highlights”. For those of you who don’t know, I read on my Kindle often, and I have the ability to highlight passages that I identify with or want to keep. I had FORTY highlights in this book, an unheard amount for me, and the majority weren’t just goofy things that I thought were funny, they were actual things I took to heart. This was one of my favorites.

“Religion is by nature elitist. Everyone wants to believe that his way is the right way. Too many people, regardless of their faith, are small-minded enough to imagine that their beliefs, their doctrines, and their rituals are the only way to be saved or to know God. I’m not self centered enough to entertain these thoughts. In no way do I imagine that my family members are the only people who got it right. God speaks to each of us in His own way. He calls a person in that person’s language and reaches individuals in terms they will understand. What I’m called to do is not what you are called to do. I don’t consider followers of another religion any less worthy in God’s eyes or mine. I don’t believe that what’s appropriate for one person, is necessarily appropriate for all. The principle is my calling. It’s probably not yours- and that’s fine with me.”

It was also really refreshing to see these women talk about times when it WASN’T perfect.

“This was not the celestial plural marriage I’d imagined. It was uncomfortable and disheartening”

There’s a million more and maybe at some point I’ll share them all, but this book was full of so much wisdom. I think a lot of what they talk about when it comes to their relationship with their sister wives relates to friendships between women as well. There was child rearing advice, and just…existence advice. I wasn’t expecting to find quotes that were pertinent to MY relationship with God or with my life, in a book from Mormon Fundamentalists.

It just goes to remind me, and us, that we have more in common than we don’t. I could relate to these women, see myself in them, see how I would be in the instances they describe and it was amazing.

I really loved this book! It took me a bit to get through, sometimes it was hard to read all the wives accounts because often they would talk about things that we had either seen on the show, or another wife had already discussed. Sometimes even both. I would give this book four stars, and I would recommend to anyone interested in the human experience. Pretty good!

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