Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Thirteen-year-old Kyra lives in an isolated polygamist community. She loves her father, her three mothers, and her twenty brothers and sisters. Books are forbidden, but one day Kyra discovers the Ironton County Mobile Library, and with it the knowledge that there is a much bigger world than she previously knew. When the Prophet decrees that she has been chosen to become her sixty-year-old uncle's seventh wife, Kyra must make the choice to stay with the family she loves and live a horrific life full of fear or escape into the great unknown. With the help of the mobile librarian, Kyra makes the ultimate sacrifice and runs away from the compound to find freedom and love on her own terms.
This book is an incredibly poignant, haunting, and thought-provoking novel. From the beginning, the reader is captivated by Kyra's winning personality, loving actions, and compelling thoughts. Williams perfectly captures the environment and dynamic of the compound and Kyra's struggles with her faith, her devotion to her family, and her own will. Kyra's voice feels authentic to a young teenage girl. Rather than painting Kyra's life in black and white, loving familial bonds are depicted and not all the men in the compound are portrayed as evil. Carol Lynch William's sparse prose holds a quiet power and empathy that will keep the reader invested to the very end. Readers should be aware that there are descriptions of child abuse in this book.
*Contains moderate violence and mild sexual content.