Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Amity & Sorrow” as Want to Read:
Amity & Sorrow
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Amity & Sorrow

by
3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  1,957 ratings  ·  460 reviews
A mother and her daughters drive for days without sleep until they crash their car in rural Oklahoma. The mother, Amaranth, is desperate to get away from someone she's convinced will follow them wherever they go--her husband. The girls, Amity and Sorrow, can't imagine what the world holds outside their father's polygamous compound. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of Brad ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Amity & Sorrow, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Amity & Sorrow

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
♥Robin ♥
Normally I am drawn into books about the polygamist lifestyle as I find it very interesting. For some reason, this book just didn't satisfy that curiosity. The plot was interesting but the author failed in the delivery as there are many different areas she could have explored. This would have been a much better book if more time was spent on the past lives of these women rather than their boring escape.

The book's pacing was VERY SLOW but then again why hurry when it's going no where. The writing
...more
Diane S.
Cults, members of cults, a mother and her two daughters, a farmer in Oklahoma and his somewhat adopted son, Rust,and an old man, these are the characters that make up this debut novel. I found the writing addictive, this novel taught me more than any other book about the reasons people join cults and the effect that being the member of a polygamous cult has on its people. Amity, who is twelve, is the main narrator and we see the world through her eyes. When her mother takes her and her sister es ...more
Tara Chevrestt
I couldn't stand this book for many reasons.

1. I'm all about STRONG women and this does not contain one. I was expecting the adventure of a group of a women smart enough to up and walk away from a cult and while the mother took her daughters away, she is so brainwashed and dumb and was such an ENABLER all along, turning a blind eye to the most ridiculous of crap (Fields are evil??? WTF?) that I could feel no pity for her.

2. Some should have just offed Sorrow. She's a menace to society and the m
...more
Tania
Two sisters sit, side by side, in the backseat of an old car. Amity and Sorrow. Their hands are hot and close together. A strip of white fabric loops between them, tying them together, wrist to wrist.


This was a beautifully written debut novel about the ties that bind. It’s a story of God, sex and farming. Amaranth and her two daughters, Amity and Sorrow, flees from a religious sect, where she was the first of 50 wives to Zachariah, a self-proclaimed prophet. They end up in rural Oklahoma, where
...more
Naomi
Read my full review: http://bit.ly/13ID9uT

My opinion: Although I had liked the general story of this book, I couldn't get past the writing style of this author. Although I do feel it was intentional to fit the storyline, I really couldn't get used to it. There was just something off to it that I can't at this immediate time put my finger on. Now, I have to admit that I have Goodreads friends who loved the writing style which was present in this book.

On a side note: Although I was approved for t
...more
Patrice Hoffman
There comes a book that simply makes you think. Amity & Sorrow is definitely the type of book that makes me think about religion, family, mothers, sisters, and home. Peggy Riley has managed to make a beautiful novel from some pretty difficult subjects such as incest, polygamy, cults, and abuse. Riley manages to make this novel not one of sadness or lasciviousness yet still tell the truth in a very insightful, truthful way.

Amaranth and her daughters, Amity and Sorrow, are found by a farmer n
...more
Kwoomac
Amity and Sorrow tells the story of a family growing up in a cult in Utah. There is just one man, Zachariah, the fifty women he takes as wives and the more than twenty children he fathers. Zachariah goes out in search of lost women, promising them a safe haven. They live off the grid so now one really knows what's going on out there.

The story is told from the perspective of Amaranth. She was his first wife, saved by Zachariah when she was just eighteen and already struggling to survive. When Za
...more
Jane
The idea was intriguing, but it was the opening that captured me.

A woman driving, desperate to escape her past, with her two daughters who were much less certain about whether they should go, whether they should leave the only home they had ever known.

Amity & Sorrow HBK dark.inddAfter four days they stopped. Because, and only because, Amaranth crashed the car. She had no money and no idea what to do. A local farmer found them. He noticed their strange dress, their rather old-fashioned manner
...more
Janet
She didn’t know that preparing for the end of the world would make it that much more likely to come.

Amaranth is the first of the fifty wives of the prophet, and mother of two daughters, Amity and Sorrow. Sorrow is the eldest and holds a special place at their temple. She is the oracle, the one who transmits the word of God to the congregation. Amity is the younger sister, less zealous and sweeter tempered, with a gift for healing.

The children don’t go to school, don’t know their address, don’t k
...more
Anne
Although Amity & Sorrow is a fairly short novel at just 284 pages in the advance paperback edition, it is an intense and at times very difficult story to read. The subject matter is quite harrowing, and a subject that is rarely touched upon in fiction, and the writing is quite unique and distinct - it takes a little while to get used to the style.

Amaranth and her two daughters; Amity and Sorrow are fleeing their home, they have driven across country for four days and the only reason that the
...more
Blair
Amity & Sorrow opens on a dramatic scene, as a mother, Amaranth, and her two children - teenage Sorrow and twelve-year-old Amity - find themselves stranded in an isolated petrol station. After four days of driving, Amaranth has crashed her car and has no option but to accept help from Bradley, the farmer who owns the surrounding land, and Dust, the boy who works for him. It soon becomes clear that the trio have fled from a cult-like religious community, where Amaranth was the first of fifty ...more
Lou
The devout and the devilish, they take centre stage in this tale, which characters fit that description would not be hard to surmise once completing this story.
Amity and Sorrow two sisters born into a family that consists of many mothers and one father. This was a really engrossing tale, the narrative has you really in the tale, with the right words usage and just the right sentencing, the author will have you captivated in the uncovering of the bizarre world that the two girls were raised in an
...more
readinghearts (Lyn M)
Jun 04, 2013 readinghearts (Lyn M) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone looking for an interesting story of life after living in a cult.
Recommended to readinghearts (Lyn M) by: Little, Brown and Company through Netgalley
The current cultural spotlight on polygamous cults has peaked my interest in the subject, and it was for this reason that I decided to accept the invitation of Little, Brown and Company to read an ARC of Amity & Sorrow: A Novel ,Peggy Riley's debut novel, and review it. I started the book with trepidation as several of my friends thought that it was just okay. At first I thought I would agree, but the more I got into the story, the more that I realized that this book was going to be one that ...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
Amity and Sorrow
Peggy Riley
A Debut novel and an impressive one at that.
I could not resist this book once it became available for review.
The subject matter has always been one that fascinated me.
I loved the story. The pace is fast, the world building genuine and extremely disturbing.
The writing style itself took me some time to get used to but by the end of the book it added to the plot and no longer distracted.
The disturbing life story interspersed with humor was a fascinating read.
WaAr
Kindle pu
...more
Amy
This book was interesting, and I am still trying to put all the pieces together. I was interested in reading it because I have a number of other polygamist novels and they always intrigue me. I can honestly say that I got a polygamist perspective, but there were soooooooo many holes in the story that just didn't make sense. Ultimately, the book fell short of its goal!!

Here are some of the problems I found--
I saw no way in which Bradley was mourning the loss of his wife. He was just angry.

Amarant
...more
Michele
I devoured this book in one day, if that tells you anything. And I'm more than a little disturbed by this tale and that I became so engrossed in it. Amity and Sorrow are the daughters of Amaranth, a woman who has finally flown the coop from her fundamentalist Mormon compound where she was the first wife of a psychotic man who eventually collected 50 wives to live with them on their remote Utah lands. The book begins with the mother's flight and it is only in brief flashbacks that we learn about ...more
Sonja Arlow
We are introduced to Amaranth and her two daughters, Amity & Sorrow when they flee from their polygamist cult only to crash their car in the middle of nowhere. The background of these three then slowly unfolds showing disturbing & creepy details about the rules and abuse of cult life.

While the storyline was captivating, the way it was written made me feel completely disconnected with all of the characters. There was just something off about it that I cannot immediately put my finger on.

O
...more
Jennifer Parks
Amity and Sorrow is quite the unusual novel by Peggy Riley. It opens on the scene of a mother, Amaranth, driving her two daughters, Amity and Sorrow, down an Oklahoma country road. It quickly becomes evident that they are on the run from someone or something. Because the daughters are literally bound to one another via their arms in the backseat, and because the language is evocative of the south, I first assumed this was a story about an escape from slavery. Which it is, I suppose, but not in t ...more
Renita D'Silva
I have mixed feelings about this book. Let me start with what I liked:
1) Peggy Riley's writing is beautiful. Love her style,spare yet stunning-a hard balance to achieve. Really enjoyed the descriptions, the sense of place.

2)The story is very original and compelling, it drew me in from the first page and I wanted to know what happened next.

3)I liked Bradley the farmer, his father the old man and his interactions with Amity and Sorrow, especially with Amity. I adored Dust and Amity. I even under
...more
Shannon
With memories of nothing but the polygamous compound they were raised on, sisters Amity and Sorrow long for home when their mother, Amaranth, packs them up and drives for days to escape. Amaranth reaches the dry plains of Oklahoma before her heavy eyes betray her and she crashes the family car, destroying her chances of completely getting away. Thankfully, she wrecks near land owned by Bradley, a lonely farmer willing to help, but unaware of the swirling family dynamics he is about to take on.

T
...more
Terra
I had no idea what to expect with AMITY AND SORROW, but I'm so glad I picked it up. Sure, the plot is compelling (who wouldn't want to read about a mother and her two daughters escaped from a crazy religious cult?), but there's so much more to this book. The writing is excellent, the sister dynamics are superb, and the ending will haunt you for days. This is much more than sensationalism.
The Loopy Librarian
I’ll be haunted by this story for quite some time. The narration sets a tone of fear and despair. Immediately, the reader is thrown into the desperate, frantic situation of a mother on the run with her two daughters. The characters have been brainwashed and this fact is exhibited in their thoughts and actions making them very creepy and disturbing. Even so, Amity’s humanity and Sorrow’s anger show through as does the level of their mother’s desperation and ultimately, her hope. But, the horror n ...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
'She has had to run far and fast to pull herself loose from him, to rip those stitches, but still she can feel how bound she is...'

Amity and Sorrow are sisters, and we meet them as they are on the run with their mother Amaranth, from their home which is now on fire. It was the only place the two of them have ever known; they know nothing of the outside world. Their mother has driven for four days solid in a desperate bid to escape the life she has been living, to take them away from her husband,
...more
Darlene
Jan 25, 2013 Darlene rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older Teens/ Adults
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book from the author as a first read. Thank you so much for the Book!!!
This book is about a mother that is taking her two daughters from a polygamous compound. The only home that the girls have known. There has been a fire that night and the mother takes the girls and races away with in the car-( knowing that her husband will follow her ) they drive for 4 days until the mother wrecks the car in Oklahoma. A man comes the there rescues by the name of Bradl
...more
Sarah Beth
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley.

I've read several novels that deal with polygamy and always found them interesting so I was drawn to this novel about a mother and her two teenage daughters who are fleeing from their polygamous compound. Amarenth was one of fifty wives, but decided to flee her husband when she finds proof that her husband is not as honorable and honest as she once thought. Yet her daughters Amity and Sorrow have never known a life outside of polygamy - they cannot
...more
Big Book Little Book
Caroline for www.bigbooklittlebook.com
Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

This has been one of the hardest reviews to write. I’ve started, deleted and started again. I ignored, re-scheduled and stared at a blank computer screen but enough is enough. I will attempt to express the complicated feeling I have for Amity and Sorrow.

I have to confess that had I not been offered this book to review, If I had simply seen Amity and Sorrow in a book shop, I probably wouldn’t have pic
...more
Sharon Vander Meer
The fire that sets this story in motion flames through “Amity and Sorrow” in every cleverly crafted scene. It is a dark story about sisters who grew up in what might be considered by some a cult atmosphere. In desperation, their mother Amaranth, snatches them away terrified by escalating threats from outside and unsettling changes from within.

Their flight is interrupted when in utter exhaustion she crashes her car into a tree. Miraculously none of the three are seriously injured, and are rescued
...more
Eustacia Tan
Amity and Sorrow are running away. Well, their mom is running away, and they're bring dragged along. Amity doesn't really care, but all Sorrow wants to do is go back. And what Sorrow wants, Sorrow gets. Or so it has been her whole life. But when their car is smashed in Okalhama, things change.

That, is as much of a summary I can give. It's not a pretty book - the subject matter is actually quite ugly. I think I despised almost all the characters, except perhaps Amity and Dust. But still, I finish
...more
Heather
I didn’t enjoy reading Amity & Sorrowenjoy is bad word choice in this case. It was really my morbid curiosity that made me want to read this book. I am not a fan of religious fanaticism and cults (understatement), and I was curious to read about the polygamous cult in Amity & Sorrow; I wanted to read about how it affected these two young girls. Needless to say, Amity & Sorrow solidified my feelings. What their father’s cult did to them (and Amaranth, to a lesser extent) was just awf ...more
Ali
I was very lucky to come across a paperback proof of Amity and Sorrow just a week or so after it had been published. I had already seen a great review of it elsewhere and knew I wanted to read it.
It starts with a car journey. A woman and her two not quite teenage daughters are in the car, they have been driving for four days. The mother Amaranth has taken her daughters to flee – running away from the only life they have ever known. That life was as part of a polygamous cult, Amaranth the first
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What is the book like? 9 58 Sep 30, 2013 06:33PM  
  • In the Land of the Living
  • The First Rule of Swimming: A Novel
  • Bella
  • The Liars' Gospel
  • Until She Comes Home
  • Screwed
  • Accidents Happen
  • The Dream You Make
  • Letter from Point Clear: A Novel
  • Women in Bed: Nine Stories
  • Kind of Kin
  • The Romanov Cross
  • The Night Rainbow
  • A Nearly Perfect Copy
  • Cracks in the Sidewalk
  • The Christmas Daughter: A Marienstadt Story
  • Wise Men
  • My Vacation in Hell

Share This Book

“Life is just seeds, he says shrugging. You know, you plant in the dirt you're given. It's all you've got. You water, you tend, and sometimes seeds don't take. Sometimes it all goes away from you.” 5 likes
“Inside there are photos of the Great Wall of China, the Serengeti plains, the holey moon, all the paper wonders of the world and heavens, from when she was a little girl, alone and reading, and she wants nothing more than to turn herself into a paper doll and climb inside.” 0 likes
More quotes…