May 18 11

The sun came out this afternoon and it stopped pouring for the first time in at least a week. The good thing about a break in the rain is that the subway was just about the emptiest it has ever been at rush hour. At 5pm, I was able to get a seat at Queen station. That has never happened to me before. I – and all the other like-booted commuters – got to sit today.

I have worn my rain boots more times in May than I have in the 1.5 years that I have owned them.

So while listening to my music and with my face buried deep inside my book on my iphone, the person sitting beside me started talking to me. Yes. I know. Nobody talks on the Subway unless it’s shouting expletives or, if you are like the girl who sat near me last week, unless you singing that Bruno Mars song on a loop for 8 stops straight.

“Hey! Are you Mormon too?”

It took me about 15 minutes of giving him my WTF face to realize he was asking because obviously he had been reading over my shoulder.

You see, I am currently reading The 19th Wife, which, ps, I am enjoying far more than I ever imagined. Because, you guys, I thought this book was just a fictional story about sister wives and murder mystery, which, in itself would have been enough to satisfy my reading needs. But then, there’s this whole historical fiction arc. It tells the story of Ann Eliza Young, the 19th wife of Brigham Young, and a crusader in the fight to end polygamy at the end of the 1800s. It uses actual excerpts from her 1876 biography Wife No. 19, and uses actual documents to tell the story of the life she was born into and how her mother came to become a Mormon.

To call it fascinating would be a sweeping understatement. Because I am both a lover of history and fascinated by religions in general, this book is one that I don’t want to put down. So I didn’t. I was reading it on the subway, and clearly so was the Mormon young man who was sitting to my left. I guess he had probably seen words like Prophet and Saint and Joseph Smith and probably assumed that I had been reading, I don’t know, scripture of some sort, because the look on his face was pure…I don’t know…delight.

I had to disappoint him.

“I’m Jewish,” I said, “But we can still be friends.”

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  1. Great answer. :)
    Now I must get my hands on that book – sounds SO interesting!

    Also, back in the day when I’d take the subway in D.C., I’d hate it when people would talk to me. That was my time to
    zone out!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Loukia on May 19, 2011
  2. Hahaha, that is way too funny. I’m curious to know what you think because my Mom loved the book…and I gave up after 3 chapters. I’ve given up on a grand total of maybe 4 books in the past 6 years so….

    [Reply]

    alimartell replied on

    I am absolutely LOVING it. It’s totally my thing…but I can see how some people might not like it.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Daisy on May 19, 2011
  3. Ugh, it’s like when the person sitting next to me on a plane starts talking to me. It’s like what part of my look *doesn’t* scream “Don’t fucking talk to me”?

    Also, I’m dying to know how this story ends. Did he just shift awkwardly and say, “Oh”? Did he smile real big and say, “Well, neat-o!”? Did he try and save your soul? Did he fly up like a Japanese anime character and scream, “DIE, HEATHEN BEAST!”? Tell us!

    [Reply]

    alimartell replied on

    He was actually really adorable and smiled super big. It was just really cute that he was trying to make friends on the subway. Heh. Most people just like to push and shove.

    [Reply]

    Comment by MonsteRawr on May 19, 2011
  4. Now I want to read that book. You’re the one who got me super interested in religions with your talk of people looking for stuff in hats or whatever.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Karen Sugarpants on May 19, 2011
  5. Ohhhh– I’ve been looking for a new book to pick up! This sounds amazing, and totally up my alley. I’ve gotten really into historical nonfiction; particularly the seedier stuff (don’t judge!). So Mormon polygamy murder sounds AWESOME. Heh.

    PS: I picked up ‘Sin in the Second City’ last year– which is about this larger-than-life, famous brothel in Chicago called the Everleigh (which is apparently how the term ‘getting laid’ was coined: a tongue-in-cheek reference). If you’re looking for another subway read, you should pick it up. :-)

    [Reply]

    Comment by becca on May 19, 2011
  6. Well, I’m repeating myself to say that I LOVE THIS BOOK. I liked the Ann Eliza Young pieces better than the modern day mystery pieces. Also, Lifetime made a movie that was worth watching, I think. Not at all as good as the book, but not a total waste of two hours.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Mama Bub on May 19, 2011
  7. When I learn to read again, it will be on my list.

    You response is too cute :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Heather on May 19, 2011
  8. I just finished reading the 19th Wife! I absolutely loved that book.

    I am getting the best book recommendations from my favorite bloggers these days!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sara on May 19, 2011
  9. That sounds like my kind of book. Cute story.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sheryl on May 19, 2011
  10. I read The 19th Wife a few months ago and it took me a few chapters to figure out what on earth was going on. That said I did find it very interesting. Love that a guy on the train thought you were Mormon because of it!

    I need to recommend a book to you since you love history-you must read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I know the title is long but you must read it. Must.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Arica Saltzman on May 19, 2011
  11. Eh, we Mormon’s are always the crazy “join my church!” people that popular media/fiction would make you believe. We’re an okay bunch, if a bit peculiar. ;)

    xox

    [Reply]

    alimartell replied on

    EVery Mormon I have ever met has been absolutely delightful!!

    I just wasn’t expecting someone to ask me out of the blue on the subway! I was taken aback :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by heidikins on May 19, 2011
  12. I’ll have to check that book out. I am also fascinated by religion. I had to once try to nicely extricate myself from a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness who was thrilled to find someone who would actually read her pamphlets.

    Have you read “Under the Banner of Heaven?” Also a good read.

    [Reply]

    Justine replied on

    I LOVED Under the Banner of Heaven- so interesting!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Corey on May 19, 2011
  13. The 19th Wife was good, and even sprouted a halfway watchable lifetime movie. Halfway.

    No talky on public transportation.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Stacie McDonald on May 19, 2011
  14. Read that book and LOVED it. They had a made-for-tv movie out a couple of months ago based on the book- I DVRed it but couldn’t bring myself to watch it since I knew it would not be as good as the book itself.

    [Reply]

    Comment by es on May 19, 2011
  15. that’s pretty cute actually-his question and your answer

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sensibly Sassy on May 20, 2011
  16. An interesting book and I want to introduce it to my friends now.Thanks for your sharing

    [Reply]

    Comment by van025 on May 22, 2011
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