Genre: YA Fiction
Publication Date: 2009
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge #33
This is a book that is so good, yet because of the nature of the story, difficult to read. It’s well worth getting over the difficulty because once you start; you won’t want to put it down. Fortunately it is a very quick read.
Kyra is thirteen and lives with her family in a compound somewhere unspecified but implied to be a desert area in the US. Kyra’s family consists of her father, his three wives and their combined 21 children and two more on the way. They are members of The Chosen Ones; a polygamous cult living isolated from mainstream society. When the Prophet declares that Kyra is to become the seventh wife of her sixty year old uncle, Kyra can hardly believe it. She wonders if it’s her punishment for secretly getting books from the bookmobile that passes nearby on a regular basis. Books other than the bible are not allowed. Perhaps it is because she’s been secretly meeting a boy she hoped would choose her for his wife. No matter why, Kyra knows that she doesn’t want to go through with this marriage. Can it be stopped? What will happen to her or the rest of her family if she disobeys? I can’t say more without giving away the story.
Some of what happens in this story is truly frightening and heartbreaking. Told by Kyra, it sometimes jumps around a bit like any thirteen year old telling a story would do, but the pace builds to a finale that just begs to be read without interruption. Kyra is naïve and sheltered, yet at the same time she’s wise beyond her years. What’s saddest for me is to think that there are likely young girls out there somewhere today dealing with the same issues that Kyra is coping with.
It’s a well-written, fascinating book and I highly recommend it.