The Chosen One (by Carol Lynch Williams)

25 03 2011

Sometimes a book is just OK. There’s nothing particularly ‘wrong’ with it, but you can’t really feel anything about it besides the fact that it’s OK. That’s what the cat had with Carol Lynch Williams’ The Chosen One.  Totally interesting topic (a teenage girl’s struggle to find her place in society, which in this case is a polygamist community), fairly decent writing style and execution, an OK effort to entertain the cat for an hour or two.

Kyra is being raised in a polygamist community by her father, 3 mothers, and literally dozens of siblings. At 13, she has slowly started to realize that she doesn’t fit in. This is due to 2 things: she has started reading books after seeing Ironton County Mobile Library (books are devilish, and thus reading anything except for the bible is a mortal sin) and she falls in love with a boy of the compound, Joshua (another mortal sin). Then, as if being a teenager isn’t hard enough of a struggle, Kyra gets to hear that she has been chosen to marry one of the village Apostles:  her Uncle who is 50 years older than she is! If she goes through with the marriage, she will be miserable for the rest of her life. If she doesn’t go through with the marriage, her entire family will have to suffer the wrath of the Prophet and the Apostles. Such is the dilemma.

There was nothing really bothering me about The Chosen One and I can actually get over the fact that it doesn’t feel all that developed all the time… OK, so Kyra is a nicely drawn main character, but besides that, most of the other characters are a bit stereotypical (the Prophet, the Uncle, Joshua,…). Kyra’s family itself seems to defy the stereotype, though (they do show empathy despite the fact they know that they have to ‘obey’ the Prophet), but with a mere 224 pages, you can’t really expect a fully formed well-rounded story about polygamy in contemporary American society.



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