Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sis...more Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much—if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family.
Details: "The Chosen One" by Carol Lynch Williams, 213 pages, 4.5 stars on Amazon
My Thoughts: First, the cover is pretty, but to me, it makes it seem like the kind of book it isn't. I thought the cover seemed sort of chick-lit-y and not as dark as the story was. If I saw it in a bookstore without knowing anything about it, I probably would walk by it.
The cover might not be perfect, but the story itself was pretty darn close! A week or so before I read the story, I stumbled across an article in TIME magazine about polygamy in America. I have always been vaguely aware that there are some people in the US that do stuff like that, but it was a real eye-opener for me. When the reporters interviewed the women, they all seemed so docile and obedient, insisting that they're perfectly happy. It appeared rather barbaric to me, that men would have three or more wives with a crazy amount of kids. So when I read the book, it was a great complement to the article.
I love how real Kyra is as a character. We can feel her pain and her longing to be like a normal person. At the same time, she is so strong. I can't imagine how hard it has to be to take everything you have - your religion, your family, your culture - and just turn your back on it. What confuses me about her is that she seems very quick to rebel, with the books and having a relationship with Joshua.
I also wish the author chose to explore some of the other issues related to polygamy. The abuse is horrifying, of course, but I would have liked to also read about jealousy among sister wives and that sort of thing. Overall, though, I really loved this book! I would recommend it to everyone, except if you're very easily disturbed. 4 out of 5 smilies.