Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Book I Am Most Thankful For

The book I'm most thankful for is The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams.

The Chosen One

This book is gripping and action-packed, and ultimately coveys a message to readers worldwide. It clearly demonstrates the brutalities some women still suffer from in this modern world, where they cannot rule their own fate.
About The Story:
Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated community without questioning the fact that her father has three wives and she has twenty brothers and sisters, with two more on the way. That is, without questioning them much---if you don’t count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with Joshua, the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

But when the Prophet decrees that she must marry her sixty-year-old uncle---who already has six wives---Kyra must make a desperate choice in the face of violence and her own fears of losing her family forever.

After reading this book, I felt deeply sympathetic for the women in the polygamous, prophet-ruled community who had no other choices but to surrender to the beck and call of men, but I felt a greater admiration for the ones who fought back bravely even though the odds are against them.

Kyra is a wonderful character and I really admire her courage and willpower. She is the perfect protagonist for The Chosen One. She has to make a difficult choice : to stay with her family and wed her abusive uncle, or pursue freedom with the possibility of facing a death sentence.

This book brings up a few social issues which are worthy to be discussed about. First of all, there is this personal freedom issue. Doesn't everyone deserves the freedom of choosing whom to marry and how they should live their lives? It is extremely unfair for the girls in Kyra's community to be coerced to marry old men and become "baby-making machines". Any girl who tries to defy a marriage instructed by the Prophet will be mercilessly beaten up or killed with a rifle gun.

Each of us know that religions are meant to teach us to be good and virtuous. However, in this story, Prophet Childs uses his authority and social rank to rule over The Chosen Ones. He feeds himself with power by making others' lives hard in God's name. He always ends every word of his own by saying, " This is God's will."

Another thing is, the people in the community has little knowledge of what is happening around them as Prophet Childs has already banned all kinds of reading materials except the Bible. I believe this enables the prophet to remain in control of the whole society effortlessly and maintain his holiness. How can one who seeks power, money and fame by exploiting God's name be a prophet?

Kyra's heartbreaking account made me sad, angry and sympathetic at the same time. I cried for her tragic experiences and personal loss. My heart was literary in my throat when Kyra is hunted down by the God Squad. I'm in awe by her extraordinary valor and inner strength.

In a few words, The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams is a remarkable, thought-provoking and gripping novel. It
made me think about a lot of things, and I'm really thankful for that.

Beth Revis, the author of Across the Universe and A Million Suns, is hosting a contest on her blog! You'll have the chance to win 19 SIGNED books. To enter, create a post in which to write about whatever book it is you are most grateful for, including a link to the contest and the contest graphic in the post.


Holly said...

This sounds like a very fascinating story! You might also like The 19th Wife. It's a similar topic. I can't imagine sharing my husband! Although I probably wouldn't mind if he was a crusty old man.

Jennifer said...

I need to read this! I've heard great things about it, but haven't gotten around to it. I love how you were able to explain how much it made you think. Great post and good luck in the giveaway!

Here's mine: