The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a very short but very sweet and powerful book, that will shock and provoke you and leave you thinking about it all the time you are not reading it.
Kyra is nearly 14 years old and has grown up as part of a polygamous cult. Her mother is her father's third wife, and Kyra has grown up knowing that she must obey the commands of her father, and their leader, the Prophet. Kyra's whole world is shaken one day when Prophet Childs comes to her house and announces that he has had a sign from God- that Kyra is to become the seventh wife of Hyrum- Kyra's uncle.
You completely feel for the situation that Kyra has been put in. The terrifying dilemma she is going through at such a young age. Should she do as she is told, and marry her cruel uncle who is 50 years older than her, or try to escape- leaving behind everything she has ever known and abandoning her beloved sisters, to disappear to the complete unknown when all her life she has been told that she will go to hell if she disobeys.
I loved Kyra as a character. She is kind and considerate to her family, but also wants to be able to do more on her own. She sticks up for herself in situations when many people wouldn't have, and her many quirks- such as sneaking out of the compound to visit the mobile library and read books that have been forbidden- just make her stand out as being determined, smart and unique. The story is told completely from Kyra's perspective, and many times even as if directly through her stream of thoughts. The narrative of her present situation is broken up with pockets of memories- some recent, some from when she was a small child that detail events in her life that have shaped her, and introduce us the reader to the way of life for her community. We see through her memories the progression of her relationship with Joshua, and her family life, her first meeting with Patrick at the mobile library, and her impressions of the Prophet. This book details the cruelty and corruption of a people who believe themselves to be doing God's will.
This story is scarily believable, very moving and thought-provoking, and will make you want to keep reading right up until the end. My heart was in my mouth at several different tense times throughout this book, while my brain was trying to read faster, and desperately hoping that everything would work out well for Kyra. A very good book.
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