Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Available at bookstores now!!
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.
I'd heard nothing but good things about this book, so I think I was a little weary. When a book has that much hype to live up to, sometimes it disappoints. That was totally not the case with this book. It was amazing!!
The topic of polygamist sects is a very timely one. I've always been interested in the idea. I can't imagine sharing a husband with numerous other women and I always wondered what it was like for a child growing up in such conditions. From page one, this book swept me into Kyra's life and gave me an idea of life within a community like this.
Kyra's story is heartbreaking and yet beautifully captured through Williams' writing. It's a difficult subject to tackle and yet Williams does it with grace. I like the fact that Kyra's family isn't portrayed as the bad guys in the story. When it comes down to it, they are loving and supportive to the best of their abilities. Just because I disagree with their ideas and methods, doesn't mean I couldn't respect the love they had for their children.
As a future librarian, I also greatly appreciated the way that Kyra's life opened up through her trips to the Mobile library. It shows how a seemingly simple book can create a world of opportunities and a thirst for knowledge and experience.
You can't help but feel for Kyra and I for one felt the need to race through the book to see what would happen to her. All in all, The Chosen One is absolutely worth all of the hype and then some. Strongly recommended and I can't wait to read her next book.