Kyra is thirteen, and lives in an isolated polygamist community with her father, his three wives, and her twenty brothers and sisters. 'The Prophet' who leads the community enforces rigid rules, by force if necessary, and is seen as a direct conduit to God, thus making any challenge to his authority a challenge against God. Punishment for offences is severe - that given out to a baby because she cried while The Prophet was speaking is truly shocking, even in a book with many shocking elements.
But Kyra is growing up. She is noticing things and asking questions. She sneaks out to the mobile library, being careful not to be away long, and bringing back books which she hides and reads in secret - since The Prophet decreed all books other than the Bible must be burned because the words they contain are 'of Satan'.
But Kyra's biggest secret is Joshua, the boy she sneaks out to meet. The boy she falls in love with. So when The Prophet proclaims that God has revealed that Kyra is to marry her sixty year old uncle, a desperate and tragic series of events begin to unfold.A simply superb story of a young girl wrestling with a desperate choice. Pulling no punches in the telling, it is utterly gripping, compelling and convincing.
Carol Lynch Williams is reported as saying: "Many years ago I heard of a young woman who ran from her polygamist community. She was dragged home, beaten and yet she ran again. I knew at that moment - at least a decade ago - that I would write this novel."
Price: £6.99 Review copy supplied by Simon and Schuster
Published by: Simon and Schuster (Publishing August 2010)
Available to pre-order through any good bookshop or online
Review copy supplied by Simon and Schuster