cover image The Bishop’s Wife

The Bishop’s Wife

Mette Ivie Harrison, read by Kirsten Potter. Blackstone Audio, , unabridged, 9 CDs, 11 hrs., $34.95 ISBN 978-1-4830-3955-8

YA author Harrison’s debut novel for adults focuses primarily on Linda Wallheim, the wife of Bishop Kurt Wallheim. She and her husband reside in Draper, Utah, where he is the spiritual father to a Mormon congregation (called a ward), and now that their five sons are grown, she occupies her time assisting in church activities and offering guidance both religious and common sense. Though the plot, which is told from Linda’s perspective, has her unofficially investigating two possible murders and the rumored incestuous behavior of a church elder, solving the mysteries is secondary to her attempt to understand herself and her place in a male-dominated religion, in a marriage dominated by her husband, and in a world where a woman’s death is deemed less important than a man’s. As portrayed by actress Potter, Linda is an intriguingly complex character, and the reader does a fine job of catching the moods of her inner thoughts, her displays of outspoken anger and frustration, and her embarrassment over mistakes in judgment. Potter follows this particularly rich characterization with an efficient amplification of the author’s depiction of the bishop’s calm but authoritative manner, of several elderly male ward members who growl angrily and dismissively about women, and of Mormon wives who, much to Linda’s dismay, passively accept their secondary status. [em]A Soho Crime hardcover. (Dec.) [/em]