Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

“I am a blood soaked girl.”

Right from the first line I was hooked.

The book follows Minnow Bly (obviously) as she finally escapes from the Kevinian cult where she spent the last twelve years of her life. She is promptly arrested for the violent assault on a young man, questioned about the destruction of the community where she lived, the death of its Prophet, and is shipped off to juvie.

Oh, and she has no hands.

We learn right away that they were cut off by someone at the community, but it is through a series of flash backs and interviews that the story of her dark past comes to light. We come see how she was always struggling against ‘The Prophet’ and his strict way of life; she was whipped and beaten for any disobedience, her once close mother became distant and emotionally removed, her sister (born in the community) served the Prophet with religious zeal and would not leave the community no matter how hard Minnow tried, and we finally learn the horrific truth about her hands, and the lengths that the Prophet would go to make sure that his will was followed.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book. The Kevinian religion seemed quite ridiculous – God was born in the 1700’s and is a boy named Charlie, and women were forbidden to read or voice their opinions and had no choice over who they would marry. Anyone who questioned the Prophet was punished, in some cases by death. They were incredibly sexist and racist and all the things that most cults are portrayed as being. But Minnow's story was so interesting and heartbreaking that I kept reading. It was horrific, dark and definitely not for the faint-hearted, full of incredible details, allegations of sexual abuse, and a (quite tame) look at what goes on at a juvenile detention centre. I wouldn’t recommend it for those new to the YA section, but it is definitely a book I think you should read.

Posted by Sas

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