Tuesday 27 July 2010

Review: The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams

Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in her isolated community without ever questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters; without ever questioning the strict rules imposed by 'the Prophet' who leads them.

But now Kyra has started keeping secrets.  She reads books that are forbidden and sneaks away to meet Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself, instead of having a husband chosen for her.

Kyra knows that it's only a matter of time before her two secret loves are discovered.  And when the Prophet decrees that she is to become the seventh wife of her sixty-year-old uncle, Kyra is forced to make a desperate choice.  But saving herself means endangering everyone she's ever cared for.

How far should she go for freedom?

For more information visit Carol Lynch Williams' website

Kyra is 13 years old and has grown up in The Chosen Ones compound, life was good until the old Prophet died but since his son took over things have changed radically for everyone.  Being raised in a polygamous cult means she doesn't know anything different and she doesn't find it strange that her father has 3 wives and she has 20 brothers and sisters.  That is until she discovers books via the county mobile library and finds out more about the outside world.  When her family is told they will be visited by the Prophet they are very excited thinking it means great things will happen to them all, but Kyra is secretly worried that they have discovered about the forbidden books she has been reading or about her secret boyfriend.  What nobody expects is that the Prophet will tell them he has received a vision from God - Kyra must become the 7th wife of her 60 year old uncle.  Naturally she is horrified by this but will she manage to escape before she is forced into a marriage she doesn't want?  What will happen to her family if they try to go against what the Prophet has decreed?

The Chosen One is a powerful read and one that had me on the edge of my seat.  It is quite a short book but that just meant I was easily able to devour it in one sitting - there was no way I could put it down until I knew what would happen to Kyra.  I have to say I know very little about polygamous cults so I wasn't too sure what to expect when I started reading the book but Kyra's story was so intense and her emotions were so well written I found it surprisingly easy to relate to her.  Her family may not be conventional but they obviously love each other and they cared about what would happen to Kyra.  Her father tries to stand up to the Prophet but it soon becomes clear that if they don't agree to the marriage then the whole family will suffer the consequences.

Things that happen throughout the book make for an emotional story and are quite horrific to read in places so I'm not sure I'd recommend this for younger teens.  It is however a book I would highly recommend to older teens and adults alike.  Kyra's life isn't easy and the odds are against her but she shows an incredible strength and bravery throughout her ordeal.  Although this isn't a true story it is easy to believe that things like this do actually happen in the modern world - quite a frightening thought!  The Chosen One is an incredible story and one that I haven't been able to get out of my mind since I finished reading it a week ago.  This is the first book I've read by Carol Lynch Williams but it definitely won't be the last.

Source: Recieved for review from publisher Simon & Schuster

Other Reviews:
Fluttering Butterflies
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. I have this one out from the library. I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it exactly, because of the subject matter, but lots of people have mentioned how powerfully emotional it is..

  2. Hi Clover, this was very different from anything else I've read before but I really enjoyed it. It was a very powerful story. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of it :o)



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