"The Chosen One"
Carol Lynch Williams
Pub. Date: May 12, 2009
Synopsis: 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. That is, without questioning it much—if you don’t count her visits to the Ironton County Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her secret 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 Kyra must marry her sixty-year-old uncle—who already has six wives—she must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.
"The Chosen One" is a book that I wouldn't have normally picked up, but it was available in audio so I thought I would give it a shot. I absolutely loved this book! Kyra is a fantastic character, Williams was able to portray the struggle Kyra felt between what her religion tells her is correct and what she feels in her heart. Most people may think the decision to leave a situation like this is an easy one, but Kyra doesn't want to lose her family, which loves her unconditionally. She worries about what the repercussions for her family will be if she leaves, she has heard the stories about what happens when people disagree with Prophet Child and the God Squad.
One of my favorite things about this book was Kyra's family. I didn't expect them to be so loving, each of Kyra's mothers love her equally, even though they aren't all her real mother. They all are concerned about her situation and try their best to give her the wisdom to get through the difficult times. Kyra's father does everything in his power to create a healthy family environment. He doesn't agree with the practices of many of the other members on the compound and loves all of his family equally.
"The Chosen One" made me really think about what it would be like to grow up in a situation like this. There are parts of the story where Kyra goes to town and it is really interesting to hear what she thinks about the town’s people. She can't believe how revealing people are dressed and feels threatened by them. I found this really interesting because the people looking at Kyra and her family would notice her clothing and may fear her as well.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy realistic fiction, especially people who like Jodi Picoult. “The Chosen One” does talk about abuse and other difficult subjects, so it may not be for everyone. I am so glad my library had the audio of this book because I would have missed out on a truly touching book.