Generally, I love cult books. The strangeness and uncomfortable difference from our lives is enough to captivate me. Unfortunately, this one seemed to go nowhere. It took 150 pages to figure out that this was not JUST a cult book, and those first 150 pages were frustratingly slow. Still, I kept returning, and the last half of the book was rewarding. I wish the entire book had been more about Hanna's discovery and her decisions rather than spending so much time on the sad circumstances of her situation. There was, however, a little too much waffling from her in that last half. I would have liked to see more action instead of Hanna's struggle internally over and over again, especially because often it seemed like fairly easy choices to make. All that said, the last few chapters were exciting, and I do love an epilogue. Mixed feelings means 3 stars.
Poor Hanna. She's been betrothed to be the 5th wife of a much older man. It's a quick read and I thought it had a few twists that made it unique. I have to say her father is awful and manipulative. I enjoyed reading it!
Good thing Hanna had that special 'power'. Unfortunately most people in her situation don't get that kind of help to escape from these types of communities.
The premise of this book fascinated me and I decided to request an ARC from Edelweiss and check it out.
Hanna is 17, going on 18. One her upcoming birthday, her father Jotham has determined (with input from the Creator, he claims) that Hanna must be wed to his former friend and business partner Edwin. While we follow Hanna's story we learn much about life in a polygamous household-- her present and future homes especially. It is a depressing life for the women and children in particular. As the boys mature, they are sent out of Clearhaven to remove the competition for the young brides. It is a despicable, misogynist system and the men use reprehensible means to keep control.
Fortunately Hanna is not your run-of-the-mill bride-to-be. She has a special story regarding her birth which gives her a special ability. She also has a new friend named Daniel who wants to leave Clearhaven as much as she does.
When Hanna was waffling on fleeing or staying, I was at first irritated, but found that as I finished the book it was a much more effective ending given what had passed before. That ending raised my rating an entire star as did the Author's Note as the end.
Definitely would recommend this book for lovers of fiction with young women facing difficult choices.
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