While cruising the stacks at the local library, I ran across 'Effigy' by Alissa York. I was immediately drawn to the cover and pleased to see it was a Giller Prize finalist. Historical fiction - inspired by the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857; and polygamy - very interesting subject; throw in a little weirdness with the fourth wife who spends all of her time in the barn practicing the art of taxidermy and it all should add up to a compelling read. (For those of you who commented on my Tuesday Teaser, it was a scene where Dorrie is preparing a wolf family for stuffing)
Sadly, I felt a little let down after reading this novel. Maybe I had built it up too much in my mind but I found it lacking. I didn't ever get close enough to the characters to care much about their experiences. Their personalities were all just too bizarre, which made it hard to think of the characters as real. There was also a lot of jumping around in the story and that tends to lose me as a reader unless there are definite separations - like different font or chapter titles that explain who is speaking. I always felt like I was finally drawn into one plot line when I was, unexpectedly tossed into another.
All in all Ms York's 'Effigy' is a dark portrayal of a strange time - maybe just a little too dark and strange.