Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Section 132 by Helga Zeiner
This novel is a great mix of realities. We open with "Martha", who is living in a Mormon-based Compound. She has 13 mothers and is coming to a rebellious stage about the rules and dictates of her religion. She is then murdered because of her actions.
We then meet Lillian, who is a member of a different compound in Arizona, who has come of age and is about to be given to a husband in the Canada area as a bride to the Bishop of that compound. She is nervous, but anxiously awaiting her future husband. When he walks in the door, he is overweight and old, not the husband that Lillian was expecting for herself. She is brought to a room and told to wait for her new husband to come and greet her. Her name has been changed to Martha, she doesn't know why.
Richard Bergman is a land developer in British Columbia. He has been a very successful man with his company, Richland Ltd, along with his partner, Daisy. He has discovered some very beautiful, untouched land and wants very much to buy and develop it.
This is when the two realities mix and collide. The Mountain Glory Ranch Compound is adjacent to the land that Richard is attempting to own and develop. There are many clashes between the Bishop and Richard and the truth of goings on at the compound are slow to come to Richard's attention.
There is a really great mix of lifestyles in the novel and they are blended very well. The story keeps you reading and the characters are well fleshed, urging you to want to know more about them. The harshness of some of the treatment of children and women at the compound is appalling, but the undercurrent of the team work between the family members is gratifying.