Book Title: The Chosen One
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Page Count: 213
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My Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
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, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her 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 she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.
Before I read this book, I know that there are these kind of religions, faith, cultures that hold polygamy value high. A few years back, there was a renowned religious figure in my country that married his second wife and caused such an uproar. Many people opposed and there were many that supported him too.
I don't know much things about the religious background for someone to do polygamy, but when I read this novel, I was appalled. I really was because there's apparently someone (and it happens to be Ms. Carol Lynch Williams) who writes about the whole things of polygamy in pretty much details. I never read one that lifts such issues. The worst part is that how Ms. Williams blatantly shows the fact that some men have only lusts towards their young brides, hiding beside the masks of religious duties, tribal myths and etc.
In this book, it's not that the author explores such sensitive issues (at least in my country it is), but she hauntingly shows the desperation that the thirteen-year-old Kyra feels about her having to marry her sixty-year-old uncle. Throughout her journey, I was constantly feeling enraged, shocked, anxious of what would happen to Kyra in the end.
Despite the severity of the topic, the novel is a very easy read and the characters will absolutely live in my heart for a long time.