Publishing Date: June 9th, 2015
Pages: 400 pgs
Source: Received from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
With a harrowing poetic voice, this contemporary page-turner is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, Julie Berry's All The Truth That's in Me, and the works of Ellen Hopkins.The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.
My Review:This is everything I was looking for in a book. It was completely different from anything I have read before. Minnow Bly is a young woman who is in juvie for assault. What makes her particularly different is that she has just escaped a cult and both her hands have been cut off. If this doesn't sound like an intriguing premise I don't know what is.
I could not put this book down. The writing is compelling and the story sucks you in. It has a bit of an Orange is the New Black vibe when reading about juvie but then it flashes back to the cult and it is so mind boggling. I couldn't imagine submitting all my faith in someone who weds underage girls and who is violent if you don't abide by the rules. I have always been fascinated by this and while on an intellectual level I can see how it happens but I still find it incredible that with all the technology we have people still fall for this brand of crazy.
My feelings on Minnow were mixed for a long time. She is a bit of an unreliable narrator. She is trying to conceal the truth about what happened on the night she left the cult and in the process she tells people lies and to an extent is lying to herself. It's hard to determine what has actually happened and what is in her head. I also found that she was very standoffish in the novel and at times it makes it hard to like her. Personally, I don't have to like the main character of a novel to like the story but I know that this can be a deal breaker for some people. For me it just made it more difficult to empathize and understand.
This story is refreshing but also haunting. It's one that you will not want to miss out on. Go out and pick this one up.