For our anniversary, Cameron and I decided to start a new tradition where we will buy each other books related to whatever the anniversary is supposed to be represented by that year. Apparently, year 2 is cotton, so we spend a good hour in Waterstones in Oban looking for books that were cotton related. For Cameron, I bought the Underground Railroad (about cotton plantations and the slave trade), and he bought me this beautiful looking book called The Glovemaker.
I wasn’t sure what to expect at all, but it turns out that glove making wasn’t really central (or relevant) to the plot.
Set in an inhospitable and unwelcoming area of Utah, the town of Junction is home to 7 families who have moved there to escape from the iron rule of the Mormon church. They still call themselves Mormons, but they have no local bishop, and most of them do not believe in polygamous marriages.
And that’s where their trouble comes in. Although they don’t agree with polygamy, their small town has become a stopping point for those that do, those who are running from the law and hoping to get to the sanctuary of Floral Ranch.
But when a state marshall shows up one day looking for the last guy to come through town, and claiming that he kidnapped a girl, things go from bad to worse and our main character Deborah (the glovemaker) finds herself in the middle of it all.
We see the story from two different perspectives – Deborah, who is currently living alone and waiting for her husband to return from his work in the southern states, and Nels, Samuel’s step-brother, who has grown to care for Deborah and wants to keep her out of trouble.
I don’t want to say too much more as I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but this was a brilliantly written book. The scenery was beautifully described so I felt like I could almost be there in the harsh winter of Utah. And I also liked the fact that the book was set right back in the early days of the Mormon church, something I’ve never really heard the history of.
The book is based around a real town and a real community, but the author does make it clear it’s a work of fiction, which is probably a good thing based on the events that occurred, let’s just say that I definitely didn’t expect certain things to happen based on the pretty cover and the blurb on the inside jacket!