Wife Material tells a story of religious abuse and sexual repression in the modern Church of Christ denomination, an American sect that forbids women speaking in services. Elizabeth Campbell's parents are violinists. Her father seems gay. Their church disallows musical instruments and homosexuality. Elizabeth succumbs to the twisted violence in her family and the pressure for early marriage at conservative Waltham University, the flagship Church-of-Christ college where suicides abound. Then, she escapes fundamentalism through a series of liberating sins.