Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Chosen One (review)

4/5 stars

The Chosen One is one of those stories that is heart-wrenching and feels like it could be a true story.  It's not.  However, Kyra's voice is so authentic and she carries this novel.  She's youthful yet wise, but not in a way that feels like an adult interjecting themselves into a child protagonist   For Kyra, growing up in polygamist compound she's had to grow up fast.  At thirteen, she's spent most of her life raising her younger siblings and being given adult responsibilities.

Even though her father is a good man and tries to protect Kyra, she's seen enough to understand the world around her.  She's seen the young women married to old men, seen the women who fight-back ostracized.  Yet Kyra is still hopeful. That's part of what makes Kyra both tragic and realistic.  Like any child, she dreams of her own potential happiness.  She wants to have a choice in life, to marry her crush Joshua, not to be a child-bride to an older man.  She really believes that she might have a chance.

That is until the prophet has a "vision" of Kyra's and sees her marry her own uncle, an elder in the compound who already has six wives.

This story shines because it doesn't pretend there is an easy answer for Kyra.  She's thirteen and faced with an unwanted marriage, or potentially running away and leaving the family she loves.  On the outside it's easy to say Kyra should run.  But Kyra struggles are more realistic.  She loves her father, her mother and her gaggle of siblings. Just a child herself she can't imagine life outside the home she's always known.

This book navigates that inner conflict and the choices Kyra must make beautifully, without oversimplifying the problem.  The Chosen tackles a difficult issue with rare respect and intelligence.

This audiobook is narrated by the wonderful Jenna Lamia, who captures the story perfectly.  For a thoughtful  and genuine book this is highly recommended.


Unknown said...

Nice review...it looks very interesting! I remember there was once a contestant on some reality TV show with the same kind of story. I thought then that it would make a great book, and so I'm totally going to read this.
Thanks for the review :)

Lyra said...

This sounds like such an intriguing book. It's not often I see books about polygamy, so this definitely piqued my interest. I get what you mean with the whole 'it sounds like a true story, but it's not' from your review - Kyra's conundrum is not something we see often in the real world.

Great review. I'm adding this to my TBR!

Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

April (BooksandWine) said...

Oh, I love Jenna Lamia as a narrator and I find the topic -- especially of religious zealotry fascinating. I'll have to read the audiobook of this.

Anonymous said...

Although this was a tough read at times, because it was so close to reality, I loved this book. I am glad that you liked it. I enjoyed your review.
- The Reading-ista