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Help! I Can't Stop Watching the Brown Family: My Review of Becoming Sister Wives

Updated on October 8, 2013

Who are the Browns Anyway?

I try to act like I don’t like reality television, but who am I trying to fool? Reality television is everywhere and even though I really have tried to give it a pass, it is hard to resist every reality show that comes down the pike. Especially one that is so easy to judge like Sister Wives. After all, the main reason we all watch reality television is so we can judge it, right?

I got hooked on Sister Wives when it became available to view instantly on Netflix streaming. I wanted to watch it because I wanted to judge the family. (Isn't that the reason everyone else watches reality television, or am I the only one who will admit it?) What I found though, is a nice family that is relatable and fun to watch.

Sister Wives follows the Brown family, a fundamentalist Mormon family. Kody Brown is the patriarch of the family and has become a mouthpiece for polygamist rights. His four wives in order are: Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn. The family is very likeable and the subject matter of the show is very intriguing. Polygamy has been in the media for a while now, with everything from Warren Jeffs to HBO’s Big Love to Hugh Hefner and his Girl’s Next Door. Even though Hugh Hefner wasn’t married to any of his girlfriends, it was different to see one man with several open live in girlfriends.

So now we have the Brown family. None of the wives are underage and they all seem to get along. So what is the draw? Why are we so obsessed with polygamy? I, for one, like to think that having a sister wife would be a little bit like having a slumber party at my house every night. In my mind it would be like an episode of The Golden Girls everyday. If I didn't want to wash the dishes, I could bribe one of my sister wives into doing it in exchange for doing her laundry. On the surface, it sounds nice. I am sure it would not be anything like a big party and since I can barely stand sharing a book, I probably would make a poor sister wife. Still, I can't get enough of TLC's Sister Wives.

Becoming Sister Wives

After filming three seasons of their TLC program, the Browns decided to write a book about their life together. I was so excited to discover this because even though their lives are none of my business I can't help but want to learn everything I can about the Browns. The television reality show left some questions about the Brown’s early life together and I was hoping the book would fill in the gaps.

First Impressions

Overall, Becoming Sister Wives is probably only for the most loyal Sister Wives viewer or people who are interested in general about the inner workings of a plural family. For fans of the show it offers new information and is not just a rehashing of the TLC program.

In Becoming Sister Wives, the Browns as a whole seem to be more self aware than most people I know. I suppose their lifestyle would demand that kind of self refection and this added to their storytelling. I don't think the ladies read each other's chapters before publication because there was a lot of overlapping in content. They all, with the exception of Robyn, talk about past grievances they have had with each other. The wives all seem to have issues with each other, but they don't say anything negative about Kody. It must be nice to be Kody!

The book is divided in four parts with each sister wife writing a chapter in each part. Kody writes the Prologue and the Epilogue. Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn all have different strengths and weaknesses as authors. Here's what I thought of them individually:

Meri

In Becoming Sister Wives, Meri came across as the least easiest to get along with. She tried very hard in her chapters to portray herself as the perfect wife and mother. She mentioned several times that her couch in her house has outlasted her fellow sister wives' couches because she doesn't allow anyone to climb on them. Meri also tried to act like she is upset because she only has one child, but I have a feeling this has worked out for the best for her. I am sure if she had more children her couch would be a wreck.

Janelle

If I had to pick a sister wife to write her own book by herself, it would be Janelle. Her chapters were the most honest and heartfelt. She talks about her struggles with leaving the mainstream Mormon church and how she had to find her way within the Brown family. On a side note, Janelle's son Logan is my favorite plyglet and hats off to her and the other sister wives for raising such a responsible young man!

Christine

Christine is so sweet, it is hard not to like her. She is funny and bubbly and this comes across in her chapters. Christine writes about the difficulty she had with Robyn joining the family and her relationship with Kody seems to be the most strained. I really don't understand Kody's aversion to Christine in their early relationship. Maybe I missed something but I think Kody is pretty clueless when it comes to Christine.

Robyn

I was surprised to read in Becoming Sister Wives that Robyn always comes in last on favorite Sister Wives polls. When I watch the show I really feel like Robyn needs protecting. She seems so vulnerable to me on the show, but I don't think this came across in the book. She seemed pretty defensive and not as gentle as she appears on the show. I am sure she has been through a lot in the past two years. If I went through half as much as she did I would probably be pretty bitter in a book about my life, so I give her a pass.

Joseph Smith family
Joseph Smith family | Source

So, Who is My Favorite Sister Wife?

I know the reason you read through all of the rambling of this hub was to get to this part. I am sure everyone is dying to know who my favorite sister wife is. Well, if you didn't already guess, it is Christine. I think she is fun and free spirited and that is my kind of people. I do have to say I liked Utah Christine better than Vegas Christine, so I hope that she finds some happiness so we can all have our eccentric Christine back.

Who is your favorite sister wife? Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comments!

Question of the Hub

Who is your favorite sister wife?

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    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Great hub! I'm going to read this book! :) We saw the entire Brown family at a Home Improvement show at the SouthPoint hotel here in Vegas recently! They had a booth there and were selling jewelry the wives had made, and some type of energy drink (I think that's what it was) and they were meeting people, shaking hands and signing autographs. I found it fascinating just to watch them! They all seem to get along well, and Robyn was carrying an adorable little boy with a CUTE "mohawk" kind of hairstyle! He was so cute! It was neat to see all of them, and some of the kids too. They DO seem like a nice family. Thanks for sharing your book review, I didn't know there was a book! :) Voted up and more!

    • BrandyMcNelson profile image
      Author

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 4 years ago from Alaska

      Thank you so much KathyH! I think that would be so cool to see the Browns in person! I am sure living in Vegas you get to see a lot of interesting people. The book was pretty good. I am sure it would be so hard living with that many adults in close quarters for so long, but I am happy to hear they were getting along so well. Did you get an autograph? ;)

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I didn't! Just because I was kind of shy for one reason and haven't watched their show in a while for another reason. It was neat just seeing them, though. And Kody is definitely just the way he is on the show, a little on the hyper side! It was interesting! :)

    • BrandyMcNelson profile image
      Author

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 4 years ago from Alaska

      I know how you feel. I am shy too and I have been to a few book signings and I was so nervous about what to say. I met the author John Green and I pretty much just smiled like an idiot at him. He was really nice about it though, so he is probably used to it! What was Christine Brown like or did you notice? She is my favorite Brown. :)

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I remember seeing her walking around there, she seemed to get along well with the others and seemed to be really nice. I don't have any memories that really stand out, other than she seemed to be just like she is on the show. That's not always true of people who are on TV! :)

    • ambercita04 profile image

      Amber 4 years ago from Winter Park

      I liked this show as well. And I think it kind of fits into the whole gay marriage controversy as well. If a family wants to live plural, than why not allow it? After seeing this family, it gave me a whole new perspective on families that have more than one wife/mother.

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 4 years ago from Illinois

      This is an awesome review of the Sister Wives. I was interested in finding out more about the polygamy relationship so I watched a few shows. Although, I see the jealousy between the wives and worry about how that effects them, many monogamous relations suffer jealousy too with an greater sense of mistrust so I surprised myself to realize that polygamy has its advantages. Thanks for sharing.

    • BrandyMcNelson profile image
      Author

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 3 years ago from Alaska

      You are welcome! There's a new documentary on TLC called "My Five Wives". I really liked it and I felt it addressed the jealousy issue more head-on than they do on Sister Wives.

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