Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 12, 2009
Number of Pages: 213
How I got this book: Library
My rating: 5/5
Summary from Goodreads:
"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 have been fascinated by the fundamentalist LDS community for awhile now - I don't know why, exactly. I think it started when I saw an interview with an ex-member on Oprah or Dr. Phil. But, anyway, this book was fabulous.
The narrator of this story is Kyra - I felt such a connection with her. She has started to question the practices in her community. In her community, it is considered a sin to read anything other than the Bible, but Kyra discovers a love for fiction when she befriends the driver of a mobile library. He introduces her to books like Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables among others. She begins to realize that there is a much different world beyond the gates of the Compound. She is in love with Joshua, a boy close to her age, who feels the same way about her. They meet in secret (also forbidden) and he even tells her that he wants to "choose" her as his wife. But then, Kyra is told that she is to marry her 60 year old uncle, and become his seventh wife. Kyra is scared and angry. She decides that it is worth risking her life to try escaping.
Williams did an excellent job with character development. I felt like I understood all the characters. I am by no means an expert in the polygamist lifestyle, but from what I have learned, Williams really captured the injustices that women experience in this community. It made me so sad for Kyra, as well as her mothers and sisters. This story was packed with emotion, and I just could not stop reading. I can only say good things about this book! I highly recommend it.