My hometown paper wrote one of my very favorite pieces about Sweet Land of Bigamy.
A debut novel features a setting that will be familiar to residents of the Uintah Basin. It’s not by accident. “Sweet Land of Bigamy” was written by Miah Arnold, who grew up in Myton and is the daughter of the current mayor of that town, Kathleen Cooper. Although the book primarily takes place in the fictional tiny town of “Smoot’s Pass,” there are many scenes and places that will ring a familiar bell for locals. …One theme is the propensity of Americans to want to have things both ways. “Helen has two very different husbands and she loves them and she wants them both,” Arnold said. The character’s original husband Larry is a Mormon and a humanist and a religious man, yet he find work in the war. There’s the Mormon woman who wants to be a feminist and she wants to be a Mormon; Arnold said the woman is not going to leave the church so she is going to have to find a way to marry those two desires. Motes’ mother is an alcoholic, who decides to quit drinking – but only in the daytime. As she hears from various readers, Arnold said everyone reads the novel according to the situation they are facing in their own lives. One reader said he saw the tale in the book as a national allegory, noting that Motes loves this person in the left and the right, and can they co-exist? Another, a friend who is in a long-distance relationship, said he viewed the novel as a warning that if you don’t make choices together as a couple there is a danger in both going off on a different road. “That is the cool thing about putting a novel out in the world, to see how different people take it,” she said. “I love that, it’s not just my book, it’s everybody’s book.” A number of reviews on Amazon.com’s website for “Sweet Land of Bigamy” suggest that it would be an ideal book club selection, leading to lots of interesting dialogue. “If people want to talk about it in a book club, I would come and talk to the book club,” Arnold said.