Last night, after a few drinks for a friends’ bday and a sleepless night before, I was ready for an early bedtime. Since reading before bed is like a religious ritual for me, I decided I would just grab a YA novel for some quick, light reading. Well, I made the wrong decision when I pulled THE CHOSEN ONE by Carol Lynch Williams from my (new, beautiful and well organized) shelf.
This novel follows Kyra, a 13 y/o that is one of 20 siblings living in a polygamist cult ruled by a Prophet that oversees the lives of his apostles. Oversees may be too kind of a word – dictates, rules, decides all fit as well. Kyra has a tough time conforming and living within the rules of the commune, especially after becoming a member of the library on wheels and diving into the outside “world of satan”. When she is chosen to be the 7th wife of her 60 y/o uncle, Kyra realizes she has to make some big changes.
I used to be so very intrigued by the Amish, but now the polygamists have my undivided attention in the sector of my brain focused on “I don’t understand why the hell people live like that.” At least the Amish people don’t do harm unto others – it seems to be similar to get out of a polygamist situation is more similar to leaving a gang. While this novel is fiction, there is murder by weapons as well as by lack of medicine.
I’m still astounded by the lack of power found within the family – Kyra’s father seems to be more human than the cult leaders (though he does have three wives) but he has no influence over his daughter being married off to his brother (hard to believe, right?). And it’s so sad in the story because Kyra believes her dad can take care of the situation – equivalent to my dad going along with my sister or I being sold into sex slavery. I want more details – this story is starkly written, without the everyday details I would find fascinating, like no descriptions of the clothing and few details about the father dividing time between wives.
I finished this book without moving from my bed, and when done I ran out to give it to my roommate and instructed her to read it immediately. So much for a good nights sleep – I was thinking about this story (and wishing for a sequel!) and the real lives of the Warren Jeffs followers. I’ve already added STOLEN INNOCENCE to my shopping cart, to dive into the true story of one young girl who lived Kyra’s fictional life as a teenage bride in a polygamist society.
- NovelWhore’s Grade: A-
- Title: THE CHOSEN ONE
- Author: Carol Lynch Williams
- St. Martin’s Griffin