Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father’s three wives and her twenty brothers and sisters. Or at least 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 the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her. But when the Prophet decrees that Kyra must marry her 60-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.


The Chosen One manages to somehow be sweet and disturbing at the same time. This book was captivating and touching and brutally honest. I am not sure I can find enough adjectives to describe to you the extreme mixture of emotions The Chosen One brought out in me.

Kyra is a character so full of complex emotions that she is the perfect vehicle to tell this story. It is so easy to relate to the love she has for her family and her desire to please them. It is also easy to understand her desire to rebel against her controlling environment but I can not even begin to relate to living in a polygamous compound. That combination of easy to relate to and complete mystery is part of what makes the book so captivating.

Williams also does a masterful job of explaining the compound in a way that doesn't make it completely evil. In fact, there are times in the book when you see the community through the eyes of Kyra's family, who truly love eachother and you can almost understand why they choose that lifestyle. It would be so easy to just cast these characters as monsters but Williams shows every facet of their personalities and it creates such a believable and interesting world.

The last third of the book is heartbreaking and I absolutely couldn't put it down. When I finished it all I could say is wow. I was completely blown away and loved the book so much.

Everyone needs to read this truly original and moving novel.

This book goes toward my Summer Break Reading Challenge.


KarinLibrarian said...

I loved THE CHOSEN ONE. Thanks for sharing your review.

Jan von Harz said...

This book does sound heartbreaking, but very interesting. Thanks for the review.

Caitlin said...

I loved this book too, I just read it not that long ago

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