Golden Richards has 28 children, 4 wives, 3 houses with never enough bathrooms, and a dog that can occasionally be spotted wearing a diaper. The family car is a Cadillac hearse and if he wants to be alone he hides out in the children’s doll house. His construction business is failing, forcing him to travel from Utah to a job site in Nevada where he spends most of his days, returning to spend a day or two with his family from time to time. This is definitely not the Henricksons from the HBO show Big Love.
I recently finished listening to the The Lonely Polygamist in my car during my short jolts around town. Although this 20 disk audio book took me close to three weeks to complete, I never lost interest and often found myself taking the long route just so I could stay in my car for an extra minute or two. At times the book had me chuckling out loud, after all who wouldn’t laugh listening to a grown man trying to figure out how to remove gum from his pubic hair as well as trying to figure out how it got there in the first place, something only the readers knew! Other times my heart ached for Rusty one of the 28 children, who was so sad and lost and in need of a little love and suffered dearly because of it.
Yes, Golden Richards knew all of his children’s names and often chanted them in a sing-song way, however he didn’t seem to really know any of his children and they did not know him which was the real tragic part of the story. The Lonely Polygamist is a bittersweet, heart breaking story and the end made me wonder if Golden Richards learned anything at all from his mistakes.