The Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber
Published 22nd February 2019 by Pan Macmillan
Star Rating - ***.5
Goodreads Challenge - 8/50
I was gifted a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.
Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.
When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.
But all is not what it seems, and when the Marshal is critically injured, Deborah and her husband’s best friend, Nels Anderson, are faced with life and death decisions that question their faith, humanity, and both of their futures.
I do enjoy reading a historical fiction every now and again and when I was offered a chance to partake in this blog tour I thought it would be a good opportunity to break up my reading. The synopsis sounded interesting and I was keen to give it a go.
This book was not quite was I was expecting. Based on the synopsis I thought we were going to be getting a historical fiction with some elements of mystery and that is what we got but there was more to the story than just that. This book had quite a heavy focus on religion, especially the Mormon faith. I don't really know much about this faith so that made the story quite interesting to read and, although there wasn't a mystery as such, there was enough compelling elements that kept me reading. I've read in other reviews that this story was also influenced by real places, people and events so that also made it quite an interesting read.
The author did a good job with the writing of this one. The setting was quite atmospheric, it's set in a small settlement, in the winter with lots of snow, and I felt really immersed in the world. It was quite a slow developing story however, I read it quite quickly as the atmosphere and the mysterious elements kept the story moving along. The author also provided us with some great descriptions of places and events throughout the story and that helped to keep my interest in the story too.
I enjoyed the characters as well. They were a close knit community and they all looked out for each other however, they all had their own moral dilemmas to deal with. This made for some really interesting character dynamics. Deborah and Nels were two of the main characters and I feel like these were written particularly well. They had lots of conflicting feelings and emotions and this made for some interesting reading. Simon was another key character and, although he wasn't necessarily present throughout the story, the letters that the author interspersed throughout meant we got to know him too.
Overall I quite enjoyed this one. Definitely a completely different story to a lot of the things I've been reading recently but it was nice to give something different a go. I enjoyed the slow and atmospheric pacing of this one and the character dynamics made for an interesting story.
Overall Rating (3.5*)
Ann Weisgarber was born and raised in Kettering, Ohio. She has lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Des Moines, Iowa, but now splits her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas. Her first novel The Personal History of Rachel Dupree was longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers. The Promise was a finalist in the Western Writers of America Best Historical Fiction Awards.
Thanks for Pan MacMillan for the opportunity to read and review this one and for allowing me to take part in the blog tour. You can check out the rest of the tour spots below.