Love Times Three:
Our True Story of A Polygamous Marriage
by: Joe, Alina, Vicki, and Valerie Darger
Love Times Three is a true story without an ending. Written by polygamists themselves, the reader is given a glimpse into "plural marriage" as lived out inside and outside of the Darger house.
I picked this book up at the library a few weeks ago. I really wasn't sure what to expect; I will say that while I do not share their beliefs that didn't stop me from being fascinated by their story and family dynamic.
Their book really gives a unique perspective to what I imagine is one of America's least advertised lifestyles. It starts in the beginning with their own childhoods and growing up in polygamist culture of Fundamental Mormonism; it continues with their ever growing family, their joys and their burdens, and how they live a polygamous lifestyle in modern America.
Of course, it's a wee bit more complicated. Let me throw in some background information. In Utah, where they live, polygamy is a third degree felony which adds a few more complications to the love trapezoid. If you shared my curiosity and wondered, how are they able to write a book - putting their lifestyle into print - and not be imprisoned? Fortunately for them, the state is currently looking the other way as long as those in the polygamous relationship are all consenting adults, and no other crimes are being committed. (Utah & Polygamy)
I believe that their goal in writing Love Times Three is not to proselytize their faith, or to flaunt their forbidden lifestyle. I stated in the beginning that I don't share their beliefs, that hasn't changed. I do think that their main goal in leaving the shadows is to change the everyday perception and stigma that polygamy is linked to. It is written well and a very addictive read; I laughed, I gasped, I even had to pick my jaw up off the ground once or twice -- but by the end I would say it was worth stepping out of my own comfort bubble to learn about someone else.
THE DARGERS, BY THE NUMBERS
(Love times Three pg. 226)
24 children (23 living)
5 stepchildren, Joe
7 children, Alina
8 children, Vicki
9 children, Val
19 biological children (18 living), Joe
8 between 5-12 years old
$500-700 Weekly Grocery Bill
36 rolls of toilet paper used weekly
10 family cars
10 loads of laundry daily
10 cell phones
6 laptop computers
5 desktop computers
3-5 loaves homemade bread consumed daily
5 kids in diapers at one time
2 gallons of milk consumed daily