Friday, June 19, 2009
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
What could have been a simple coming of age story of Kyra Leigh Carlson becomes something much different in the hands of author Carol Lynch Williams. A casual look at a boy, reading Bridge to Terabithia or Anne of Green Gables, going into town.... all these are sinful in Kyra's world, where she has 3 mothers and 20 brothers & sisters... 13 year old Kyra is trapped in a polygamist cult... She lives in a closely guarded , extremely religious compound in the desert. And this is her story in The Chosen One...
Kyra loves her family and she's known no other life, but she's growing up and her inner feelings start to question "the rules". When her wandering takes her out of the compound and to the weekly bookmobile that stops to let her explore the 'other' world, her awareness of the outside grows and her so does her natural curiosity. She begins a secret courtship with Joshua another young cult member. Their budding romance is sweet and innocence, but forbidden...
The author portrays Kyra and her secret desires & fears in such a sensitive way that we are drawn to her plight. Especially when the leader of the sect, Prophet Childs, visits Kyra's family to tell them the wonderful news that Kyra has been chosen to become the seventh wife of her father's brother who is 60 yrs. old! Kyra is horrified, her dreams of marrying Joshua are flashing before her eyes, she is torn between all that she loves, her family and home, and marrying a man who's older than her father, who's her father's BROTHER.
The opening line of the novel, "If I was going to kill the Prophet," I say, not even keeping my voice low," ... shows us how Kyra is desperate to save herself. And we become desperate too. Kyra struggles with the thoughts of leaving in order to save herself against giving up the love and comfort of the family she loves dearly. Will she have the courage to free herself? Will she have the courage to enter a world that is so unlike hers she may never adjust? Her journey takes some incredible twists and turns.
What a wonderful story this was! Carol Lynch Williams writes with such care and insight that you almost feel that Kyra is not fictional. Kyra has such depth and feelings that you also become invested in her well being. You are holding your breathe waiting to see what happens all the way to the end! And it is time well spent! I couldn't put the book down until I found out what happens to Kyra! Promoted as YA Teen Fiction, I would say it is worth reading even if you aren't in the YA catagory!
Would you like to read The First Chapter?! Here's the link: Chapter One .
A special thank you to Susannah Greenberg Public Relations & St. Martin's Griffin for allowing me to share this book with my readers! Thanks Susannah! And The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams is now available at your local bookstore!