Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Chosen One

The Chosen One (Carol Lynch Williams, 2009) is a YA novel about a young girl in a fictional fundamentalist Mormon sect. Her family--father, three wives, multiple siblings--is loving and affectionate, and apparently somewhat on the fringes of the sect despite their devotion to their prophet and his teachings. The 13-year-old heroine, Kyra, is a loner and a rebel even within her family, sneaking out to get a book from the mobile library every week (all books except sacred texts being forbidden) and indulging in what in mainstream society would be an innocent romance with a teen boy from another of the compound's families.

When the Prophet has a vision that Kyra must become an elderly uncle's seventh wife, she has to reconcile her love for her family--and the knowledge that her resistance can put them at risk--with her unwillingness to go through with the marriage. The book is a page-turner, and the ending, though satisfying, leaves a host of realistically unanswered questions.

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