Friday, November 20, 2009

Book Review: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

The Chosen Onetells the story of Kyra, a thirteen-year-old girl who has grown up in an isolated polygamous colony. She has had no real contact with the outside world, until she begins to read books checked out from a mobile library - books she is forbidden to read. She finds herself questioning more and more their way of life, especially when she is chosen to be the seventh wife of her much older uncle. But, when the boy she likes is driven from the compound, will Kyra have the strength to leave too?

Things I Liked:
This was a powerful story, packed with emotion. It was gripping and terrifying and very sad. I was very drawn in and became attached to Kyra and her family. I liked the complex ending, how things did not work out perfectly. This is a book that will get you angry about abuses to women and children - be prepared to be so mad you want to throw the book! It definitely inspired a lot of emotional reactions.

Things I Didn't Like:
I would have liked a note somewhere in the book on how much was based on true stories. I had to do some digging to find out what research she'd done, because I really wanted to know if that is what some polygamous compounds are like. I was also slightly annoyed by the questions left unanswered at the end. It was a compelling ending, but left the reader rather uncertain about Kyra's future. I wondered also about how likely it would be for her to have contact with a mobile library.

I've not read a lot of stories like this, but it kinda reminded me of Speakand Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
And possibly If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

s-factor: !
a few minor ones

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->->
some violent scenes

Overall rating: ****

What kind of book always makes you get angry?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage,
I will get a very small percentage


  1. Thank you for the review -- I have this sitting on my shelf. Maybe I'll pick it up this weekend :)

  2. Hope you enjoy it - it really gets the blood boiling :)

  3. I just finished this and part of me wishes I hadn't read it. It's written very well and is very compelling but it has left me heart-sick. I realize that it is probably an exageration of what some polygamist groups are like but it still makes me sick.

  4. I totally agree with you, Kim. I was crying really hard during parts of it and hoping that it doesn't really happen.


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