The Chosen One is Carol Lynch Williams’ harrowing account of one child’s journey toward truth, faith, and freedom. Thirteen-year-old Kyra Leigh is forced to explore the complexities of her family and her community when confronted with a reality that she is unable to accept. Raised within the confines of a polygamist compound, Kyra nurtures several forbidden desires, including a passion for books and her love of a boy that she is forbidden to marry.
Williams shines a light on a corner of our world that is typically shrouded in secrecy and darkness. Polygamy is a timely topic, and Williams’ willingness to tackle it provides teachers the opportunity to provoke thoughtful conversations about a way of life that many might question but few ever discuss. Kyra’s experiences are recounted in careful, understated prose that cuts to the very core of her emotions. The story is as disturbing as it is triumphant, and readers will find themselves empathisizing with these characters and the conflicts that they face far better than they might expect to.
I received the galley of this soon-to-be-released novel from St. Martin’s press two days ago, and not since the release of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Shadow Children series have I been so compelled to sacrifice a night of sleep to my quest for a satisfying ending. Those who love Lowry’s The Giver might find themselves equally fascinated by this tale, and I think it would make an interesting companion to Romeo and Juliet as well. The only difference? This story is grounded in the real experiences of those who may be living close to our own communities.
Courageous characters. Courageous writing. This book is definitely worth adding to your summer reading list.