Lipstick. Bright, red lipstick. Nothing but lipstick. Even though it’s against our faith to wear a color that screams of sexual promiscuity and deviant behavior, I’m not allowed to protest. But, I want to. So badly.
You see, there’s more to me than the braid that spills down my back. More to me than the layers of heavy fabric that maintain my modesty. And so much more than the oppressive wedding band that adorns my finger–the same band that each of my sister wives wear. So much more. To protest would be sinful. I must keep sweet, that is my duty.
So I’ll wear the lipstick. I’ll do as I’m told. And I’ll do my best to silence the resistance within me, to push him from my mind. If only my heart would do the same.
“I always knew I would share my husband…My existence is a lonely one. Lehi relieves that loneliness for the twenty-four hours when I pretend I’m the only one he lays with. And I do pretend. Every waking hour.”
Born into the polygamist life, Brinley is screaming to be heard. Surrounded by many but drowning in loneliness she is slowly learning that more love means less Brinley.
“The voices in my head started as disjointed whispers, so unconnected that they didn’t make any sense. But, those whispers were coming together, becoming more cohesive, clearer and louder in my head than ever before. From a whisper to a scream… I was waiting for the scream.”
Everything happens for a reason and in a life that prides its self in God’s words, Brinley is looking for her place in this world. Performance, Brinley’s daily performance is done through masked eyes until that mask is pulled away. Porter. The boy who stole more than a backpack has transformed her less than perfect world into one of more. More life, more love, more acceptance and more independence.
Porter sparked an already gas socked fire in Brinley. The key element on her path to self-discovery, Porter presented her with a world of possibilities. Teaching her that life on the opposite side of the wall, while not perfect, is worth the fight.
“And you’re not damned. If anybody’s damned to fucking hell, it’s the one everyone calls the Prophet. He’s a sick fuck who plays with your lives for his own twisted purposes. He controls every single one of your lives. It’s disgusting.”
Porter finds the home he has been lacking, while she finds the woman who was locked away. The compound becoming a jail with less perks and now Brinley is shedding her forced identity and learning about the uniqueness she had all along.
“I told you, you’re my heaven. If I burn when I die, that’s fine. I’m a selfish man and I want my heaven now.”
Melissa has proven that no matter the topic or genre you are promised no less than a well-crafted story with emotion, strong main characters and a cast of ancillary characters that scream, loudly, for their own story. Melissa has done her homework on this one. Diving deep into the polygamist lifestyle, she has presented an honest look into life in the compound. Wife Number Seven is a story of hope. The hope that one day you can find your own personal happiness. I am reminded of one of my favorite, non Melissa Brown quotes…
“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” -Glinda The Good Witch of the North
Brinley, like Dorothy went on a journey in search of more and learned that the power to change is within. Along the way you will be guided by loved ones but in the end the power is your own. Porter guided her with smarts, courage, and a heart of gold. Their story is not a one easy but a life worth living never is.
Melissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She’s an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s and ’90s.Her romance titles include Bouquet Toss, Champagne Toast, Picturing Perfect and Unwanted Stars. She is currently developing a Young Adult series called Sorority of Three.