Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publication: December 2010 (AU)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Source: PB, For Review (Thanks S&S!)
In a polygamous cult in the desert, Kyra, not yet fourteen, sees being chosen to be the seventh wife of her uncle as just punishment for having read books and kissed a boy, in violation of Prophet Childs' teachings, and is torn between facing her fate and running away from all that she knows and loves.
This book was nothing like I was expecting. The Chosen One was an intense, evocative read that brought an inside perspective on an intensely religious community, called The Chosen Ones. Children are physically abused to obedience. Girls are married off to men decades older in early teens, and men have several wives. This is the will of God, so they say.
It's difficult for me when reading books that address religion, since I'm not religious in any right, and thereby find it hard to think the whole practice wrong and immoral. However, I do regard that there is some merit to taking that leap of faith and blindly following something of a cult, to believe that there is some higher entity out there watching every move, and it is through those actions performed on Earth that it is decided whether one is brought up to heaven or to hell.
It took me over a week to read this one, despite its extremely small size. I think the main reason is that it made me so angry, that there could be such a community. The characters are unlikeable, except for Patrick, because he owns a book mobile and is a sweetie. I liked some of Kyra, the protragonist's, siblings, but there were just so many, to make a point of the polygamist society, that it was hard to keep track of many of the names that kept popping up, that it became a blur by the end.
The writing was sub-par. Pretty ordinary, but it does assume the voice of Kyra, 13 years old. I don't know. It was just okay.
The ending left me with hope, and while not the best, I did like how much the last 50 pages evoked so much emotion of me. I think that is the reason I am throwing this book a 4/5.
Live in Australia?
Fishpond | Readings | Dymocks | Angus & Robertson | Borders | The Nile