A Circle of Wives (Hardcover)$25.00ISBN-13: 9780802122346
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Published: Atlantic Monthly Press, 3/2014The author of Turn of Mind has penned a complicated mystery that many in the U.S. may find improbable—except in Utah, where polygamy, if not exactly accepted practice is not particularly surprising. Plastic surgeon and all-around savior John Taylor—a man who operates not on the rich but on children, and not to make money but rather to save lives—dies in a hotel room, apparently from a massive heart attack. When it’s determined that the death is a murder and an investigation is launched, it turns out that the sainted surgeon is a bigamist—no make that polygamist—a man with 3 wives and another on the horizon.
Who committed the murder? Wife # 1 who, as in most polygamist families, is in control and is the mother of John Taylor’s children, a woman high in the ranks of society in San Franciso; or, wife #2, a kind-hearted flower child with whom the good doctor shares a love of gardening and of peace; or wife #3, a dedicated doctor like Taylor who finds herself surprised by the passion he has elicited in her; or putative wife #4, another fellow doctor, one with whom he shares a vision? Or is it his partners in the medical clinic—all much more interested in turning a profit than in the original vision that inspired the clinic?
LaPlante, a poet, is also gifted with insight into the eddies and undercurrents of any long-term marriage, the half-submerged tangles and snags on which love catches and founders, the glints of rain and sunlight that feed and nurture love. Albeit in a poetic way, Circle of Wives becomes not just a mystery but also a case study on marriage—the ways it can compromise and twist us and the ways it can bolster and even save us. John Taylor is not stage villain and neither are his wives—rather, they’re as complex and endlessly surprising as people everywhere.
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