Gabriel's Daughters wrestles with issues of polygamy, homosexuality, and modernity through the lives of the large, loving, and polygamous Martin family. The story is told primarily through the eyes of Zina Martin, a young girl who, upon discovering she is impregnated by her "sterile" teacher—and will soon be married off to a man three times her age—escapes the enclosed polygamous town of Gabriel's Landing, Utah.
Zina then embarks on a journey full of self-discovery, yet she can never completely escape the longing she has for her family and even the controversial and outdated lifestyle she once lived. Through both tears and triumph, Jensen has crafted a moving story that not only acts as insightful social commentary but also prompts readers to reevaluate their lives.
I asked Janet where she got the idea for Gabriel's Daughters, and what her goal is for the book.
Though it is stand-alone book, Gabriel’s Daughters continues the story of the families we meet in my first novel, Don’t You Marry the Mormon Boys. My original fascination with this storyline began years ago when I discovered that a high school classmate had been raised in polygamy, and over the years I read several articles about him and his family in the newspaper. A drive through Colorado City, Arizona, made me reflect on the unusual lifestyle of polygamy and its history. Especially telling was walking through the little cemetery. There are many stories told in the simple epitaphs. Polygamy is also part of my own family heritage, and I needed to wrestle with that concept.About the Author
JANET KAY JENSEN is the co-author of The Book Lover's Cookbook (Ballantine, 2005) and the author of Don't You Marry the Mormon Boys (Bonneville Books, 2007), a gold medal winner in Cultural Fiction from the Readers Favorite International Book Awards Contest. A long-time educator, Jensen now lives on Logan, Utah, as a volunteer literary tutor and full-time writer.