Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Tributary by Barbara K. Richardson
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
131723,089 (4.8)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Thirty years of Clair Martin’s life make up the pages of Tributary. A life of scorn, preaching, pain, suffering and justification, all told in first person by Barbara Richardson. Born with a large birthmark, Clair’s mother left her in Utah while very young. She was passed off by the Mormons to various people in the Church who were in need of help. No one helped Clair, it was up to her to make it or not. She got encouragement from one widow for her lovely flower cards which she sold for spending money.
She is nearly raped by a son of one of the Church elders and decides it is time for her to leave Utah for points South and East. She lands in New Orleans where she becomes a laundress in the colored ward of a local hospital. She falls in love with a little boy she names Tierre (“T”). He’s back and she’s not but it doesn’t matter to Clair because he becomes the son she cares for and raises to read, study and work hard. They decide, after receiving a long letter from the widow, to return to Utah and go North to a sheep ranch owned by the lady’s son, Stephen.
There’s nothing in northern Utah and not much in Clair’s soul when she finds, ultimately, that Stephen has converted to Mormonism and already has two young wives. He wants a third – Clair – but she won’t give in.
Through the 1850’s to the 1880’s, Clair and her friends, enemies and T travel dirt roads by foot, wagon and horseback to learn what God and Brigham Young have in store for them. The scenery is so well described that I could see it with my eyes closed and living in New Orleans in the 1870’s! There must have been nothing like it.
An outright wonderful story by the author of Guest House and one you should take the time to read slowly to enjoy the moods and thoughts of a self-made woman dealing in a world of men. ( )
  macygma | Aug 23, 2012 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Willa Cather and Sandra Dallas resonate in Barbara K. Richardson's fearless portrait of 1870s Mormon Utah. With "lyrical prose and heartfelt characters" (Publishers Weekly), this lively novel tracks the extraordinary life of one woman who dares resist communal salvation in order to find her own. Clair Martin's dauntless search for self leads her from the domination of Mormon polygamy to the chaos of Reconstruction Dixie and back to Zion where she learns from Shoshone Indian ways how to take her place, at last, in the land she loves.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (4.8)
4 1
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,447,881 books! | Top bar: Always visible