Tatiana's Reviews > The Chosen One

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
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's review
Sep 12, 09

bookshelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2010
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Recommended for: anyone interested in polygamy
Read in August, 2009

I have always been fascinated by the world of polygamy, not the Muslim type, but the type that stems from innately American religion - Mormonism. "The Chosen One" is the first YA book I came across that was dedicated to this subject.

The book narrates a story of Kyra, a 13-year old girl born and raised in a polygamist compound. Her family is huge, she has 3 mothers and over a dozen of siblings. Kyra's life is quite acceptable in spite of the tough fundamentalist rules that prohibit reading, dancing, or contact with the evil outside world. That is, it is acceptable until she is Chosen to become the 7th wife of her 60-year old uncle. Kyra despises the idea, mostly because she is in love with a boy of her own age. When all attempts to break the engagement fail, the only route left for her is escape.

I have read many books about this subject before, mostly autobiographical accounts. Therefore I can't say this book offers anything new to me. It relies heavily on the shock value of violence against children, but skims over many other dreary aspects of polygamy - the unhappiness of sister wives, who are forced to share a husband but never quite find peace with it or stop competing for his attention; the lack of father's presence in children's lives - how much can you expect from a man who has dozens of offsprings; the poverty and hard work; the burden of carrying and raising numerous children. I missed this in the book.

Nevertheless, this is definitely a memorable book, especially for those who don't know much about polygamy. I found it extremely engaging and I think it will catch attention of many readers.
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Reading Progress

08/13/2009 page 72
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Arlene (new)

Arlene Wow. I think I would have a tough time reading this one. Great review.

Tatiana Thank you. I think you won't regret if you read, especially if you are not familiar with the subject matter.

message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather I second the great review remark. I didn't think about the fact that this story would lack detail as it must being YA and all...

Tatiana Thanks. And don't worry, once you are done with it, I'll give you some extra info. I've read a lot about it, I am not kidding.

Amber I sort of disagree with this review. You seem to have looked on it as more of a way to gain insight on Mormon Polygamist colonies, which I don't think was the intention. Obviously the book was set in one, but it wasn't supposed to be a research article that informs you about aspects of polygamist compounds, but a story about a girl living on one. And though it wasn't gone into great depth, the author did mention those other aspects that you talked about, they simply were undertones rather than strictly narrated. As the girl wasn't yet married, it wouldn't make sense for her to talk about the rivalry between the wives as she was not yet married, but she does mention that the other wives disliked her mother. She also talks about how it's lucky that her father cared so much for his chidren, and the difficulty of caring for the children while her mother is sick. They didn't seem to be talked about in great detail because they were not major plot points and I have a feeling if they had it would have dragged rather than really enriched the story.

Amanda Lol, "Not the Muslim type"

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