Saturday, March 20, 2010
The Chosen One
Written by: Carol Lynch Williams
Released: May 12, 2009 by St. Martin’s Press
Summary: Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, 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 Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-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 forever.
This book is the exact reason that I hate organized religion. I honestly don’t think that I have ever read something so poignant concerning faith and an entire system of beliefs that has left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. Sure, the referral back to God throughout a book can be tolerated, but this novel was in a league entirely of its own.
And I loved every minute of it. I couldn’t put it down and kept reading it much longer than I should have until I finished it; thankfully it’s a short novel at only 213 pages. It’s so heart-wrenching, sickening, disgusting, and absolutely chaotic that I don’t think I’ll ever forget about what’s contained within the pages.
I mean, I know that things like this happen – polygamous communities where things are more than questionable – but reading about it in a novel like this just made my heart wrench in two because I could feel it happening.
The way that it’s written, the way that the scenes are described and the details that are shared about the characters, make the entire story flow so easily that you can picture yourself from that perspective and looking out into the word. You’re able to see the obvious love that is there but that is blanketed and almost destroyed from the corruption that is enabled to run rampant. I honestly don’t think that I have ever felt so sorry for a character ever in my entire life than I felt for Kyra.
Kyra herself is this amazing character too. She’s so brave and independent: loving, courageous, intelligent, strong, and just plain amazing. She jumps right off the page and into your very being. You are able to feel what she feels and see how she thinks. She is truly a realistic character that you can’t help but want to know.
The ending is bitter sweet and I wish that it had continued just a little longer to see how things truly turned out later on for Kyra but at the same time it ended at such a place that you’re crying tears of both joy and sorrow.
I give this novel a 10/10. It is by far one of the most raw, emotional, and in-depth books that I have read for a while and though the subject matter makes me want to heave, I am so happy that I read it. It was a beautiful narrative even through everything that happened and it’s as if it is a story that needs to be told. I am so glad that I grabbed this book off the shelf in the library.