The Chosen One
"Here are my father's children.
Me, almost 14.
Marie and Ruth, 4.
Mariah, 8 months.
And two more babies on the way."
I know what you're thinking. Impossible. Not where polygamy is
concerned. Carol Lynch Williams' The Chosen One is a fine example of
one of my guilty pleasure favorite subgenres: religious cult dystopias.
Kyra's dad has three wives who he keeps in a near perpetual
state of pregnancy. His three households dwell in a small cluster in
the isolated sect compound. The Prophet and his Apostles (who live in
luxury while the rest of the faithful are poor) make all the
decisions. In a cleansing all books except the Bible were burned.
There is evidence of euthanasia being practiced on the most fragile.
All marriages are arranged and tend to pair off young girls with men
at least old enough to be their fathers.
Kyra has her secrets. She has discovered a book mobile with a
route that passes her compound. Each week she borrows a forbidden
volume, careful to hide it. And she has fallen in love with a young
man who feels the same way about her. She's even had fantasies about
the prophet's death.
Then one day Kyra is forced to make a terrible decision. The
Prophet and his Apostles meet with the combined family to announce
that it is God's will for her to become the seventh wife of Apostle
Hyrum Carlson in a month. If Kyra stays she must be the child bride
of and make babies with her 60 something year old uncle. If she runs
away and manages to escape (some who have tried to flee were shot) she
will never see her beloved family again.
On a personal note, we are in that short part of the year when local
ripe tomatoes abound. Now that we no longer deliver this year, I
collect them from the greenhouse. My husband grows me some also in a
plot beside the house. This year he grew almost brown ones with a
faint chocolate taste.
A great big shout out goes out to Eugene who grows me tomatoes every
summer even though he does not eat them.
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