19 September 2007

Predators, Prey, and Other Kinfolk

As the subtitle, Growing Up in Polygamy, says, Dorothy Solomon writes about growing up as one of the children of Rulon Allred's fourth wife. It really is an excellent autobiography especially since Solomon is able to write about her family in a way that makes you care about all of them even though she and most likely the reader disagree with many of the choices those family members make. She doesn't write for judgement, but for understanding.

I thought it was interesting that she writes in much more detail about her childhood than any other time period. I think some of what she remembers as a five-year-old was probably a bit of a stretch. Maybe it's because she doesn't remember as much that she is about to write more about those early years than her obviously difficult teenage years.

The thing that came through most clearly for me was Solomon's love for her father. I felt that, although she had many concerns about polygamy, the fact that she never had enough time with him was the most difficult thing for her. It did seem that at times through the book she almost was treating his memory too kindly, but in the end I felt that she wrote an honest portrayal of the way she remembers her father. And that's a perfectly legitimate way to write an autobiography.


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