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Review: The Chosen One

July 16, 2009

the chosen one

Kyra is a thirteen year old girl who is a member of “The Chosen Ones,” a polygamist sect.  Her father has three wives and she has twenty siblings, plus two more on the way.  She has vague memories of what things were like before the current Prophet came into power – before books, trips to town, dancing, etc. were banned.

Kyra likes to wander and one day as she is roaming, she encounters the Ironton County Mobile Library and the driver tells her she can check out four books.  Since she will have to hide whatever she borrows, she limits herself to one book at a time.  Her week and her world revolve around her family, chores, the books she checks out and a young boy named Joshua.

One day the Prophet comes to visit Kyra’s family.  Her father thinks he might be appointed an Apostle, but he’s wrong – the Prophet has come to tell the family that Kyra has been chosen to be the seventh wife of her Uncle Hyrum, who is sixty years old.  Kyra is appalled, especially since she’s in love with Joshua.

When Kyra and Joshua express their desire to get married, they are both beaten and Joshua is kicked out of the sect.  Kyra still refuses to marry her uncle and is told that her family will suffer if she doesn’t.  Now, at thirteen years old, poor Kyra must decide if she should try to follow her own happiness or make the ultimate sacrifice for her family.

Just before I started my blog, I went through a “polygamist phase.”  I read every book on polygamy I could get my hands on.  Most of them were memoirs written by women who had actually escaped from a polygamist sect.  The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams is the fictional account of a young girl in a fictional sect, but after all of the other books on the subject I’ve read, it really rang true for me.  I was totally engrossed in this book from start to finish.  I could really relate to Kyra and her love of books and her family.  My heart ached for her (and her mother) and I found myself rooting for her to make what I thought was the right decision.  I think The Chosen One is well written and Kyra is a great narrator.  I recommend this wonderfully compelling book.

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39 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2009 6:30 am

    This book sounds great! I haven’t read much about polygamy except for The 19th Wife, but I find it so sad. I know I’d be on Kyra’s side.

  2. July 16, 2009 7:00 am

    I also read this book and did a review on it, did you not love it? When I started it I could not stop reading it and finished it in one setting.. Good review!

  3. July 16, 2009 8:10 am

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, and I hope to read it at some point. I also find polygamy to be a fascinating topic, ever since I read The 19th Wife. Great review!

    –Anna

  4. July 16, 2009 8:20 am

    I know I have to read this one! Ever since Big Love came on HBO, I’ve been interested in the effects of polygamy.

  5. July 16, 2009 8:27 am

    I’ve got this one next on my books on deck pile… not sure if it will be next, but it’s there. It really does look like a book that will stick with you, and the fact she’s a book lover intrigues me even more.

    I started watching Big Love after reading The 19th Wife, and the “Prophet’s” newest wife is a year younger than my oldest. I couldn’t imagine such a heartbreak for her!

  6. July 16, 2009 8:50 am

    Great review!

  7. July 16, 2009 9:02 am

    This one just came in for me at the library. I can’t wait!

  8. July 16, 2009 9:24 am

    This sounds like a good one. I have collected several books, fiction and non-fiction, on Mormons and polygamy and haven’t read any of them yet.

  9. July 16, 2009 10:14 am

    I so want to read this book! Great review!

  10. July 16, 2009 10:47 am

    I’ve heard so much about this book. I’d love to read it. Nice review Kathy!

  11. July 16, 2009 11:02 am

    I have read some wonderful reviews on this one. What a coincidence that I just purchashed it last night. I plan on reading it sooner or later. Wonderful review. 😀

  12. July 16, 2009 11:07 am

    I adored this book and read it in one sitting. Can’t recommend it enough!

  13. July 16, 2009 11:44 am

    I’m glad the author made you identify so closely with Kyra. Now you have me wanting to know what she will decide and what happens next. Good review.

  14. July 16, 2009 11:59 am

    I was just thinking a moment ago that I should ask the library to buy this book. Great timing on another positive review! I really must get them to get this!

  15. stacybuckeye permalink
    July 16, 2009 12:27 pm

    It’s interesting to me that you went through a polygamist stage! Although I’ve read good reviews of this book the subject holds no appeal to me. Don’t know why, obviously I’m in the minority.

  16. July 16, 2009 12:49 pm

    Wow this sounds like a good one…I just received the 19th Wife from Amazon a couple of weeks ago but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. About 6 months ago I didn’t think polygamy related books or movies would interest me at all, but after watching Big Love I’m totally hooked! Thanks for the review Kathy.

  17. July 16, 2009 12:50 pm

    I have always been fascinated with polygamist sects too. The Chosen One sounds like a book that I would really enjoy…from your review I already feel for Kyra!! I enjoyed your review very much. Thanks, Kathy. 🙂

  18. July 16, 2009 1:03 pm

    I have not read any books on polygamy and this one interests me, it’s on my wishlist.

  19. July 16, 2009 1:27 pm

    I just finished this one and agree with you on your thoughts about the book. I am also in a polygamy binge too… not sure why though.

  20. July 16, 2009 1:51 pm

    i really enjoyed the audio version of this one; great review.

  21. July 16, 2009 2:36 pm

    I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about this book. Glad you enjoyed it!

    ~ Popin

  22. July 16, 2009 2:49 pm

    I am looking forward to reading this one. I also have The 19th Wife to read. The whole concept of polygamy interests me too.

  23. July 16, 2009 3:25 pm

    I thought this book was so good, but also hard to read due to the way it really hit me in the gut emotionally a few times. Glad you liked it.

  24. July 16, 2009 3:30 pm

    Your review is perfect and concise. I’ve heard a lot about this book and this makes me want to read even more. Thanks!

  25. July 16, 2009 4:28 pm

    Polygamist phase – I love it!

  26. July 16, 2009 5:32 pm

    Wonderful review, I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I am definitely looking forward to reading it.

  27. July 16, 2009 6:42 pm

    I’m glad this one turned out to be a winner for you, too. I’m looking forward to reading some of the memoirs you’ve already read.

  28. July 16, 2009 7:46 pm

    Very nice review. I have considered adding this to my wish list but wasn’t 100% sure about it. Now I am, it’s going on it- Thanks. 😀

  29. July 16, 2009 9:23 pm

    I enjoyed this one, as well. I gave it a very high rating.

    Nice review!

  30. July 16, 2009 10:17 pm

    I had a laugh when you said you went through a “polygamist phase”! (don’t worry though, I get your meaning!) I have heard only good things on this one, for sure I want to read it!

  31. July 17, 2009 1:18 am

    I have this waiting on my to-read stack – I can’t wait to find time for it! Great review. 🙂

  32. July 17, 2009 1:22 am

    I so want to read this book. I want to read something on polygamy. This one is really good isn’t it. I haven’t read a single bad review. Glad you lked it too.

  33. July 17, 2009 4:18 pm

    I really want to read this one! I have a lot of polygamy books, but haven’t read most of them.

  34. July 17, 2009 4:59 pm

    I really need to finish this one!

  35. July 17, 2009 7:27 pm

    I really must add this one to my wish list. It sounds like something I would like. Thanks for the wonderful review, Kathy.

  36. July 17, 2009 9:00 pm

    I just won this book in a giveaway so I’m thrilled to hear that you liked it. It does sound good.

  37. July 18, 2009 1:20 am

    I’ve yet to read a polygamy book, maybe this will end up being my first one.

  38. July 18, 2009 12:52 pm

    I really want to read this one. I haven’t read anything on this subject. Your review was great.

  39. July 19, 2009 3:29 pm

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I won it recently and have been looking forward to starting it. I can’t even imagine living the way this girl did in the story. Great review!

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