I enjoyed this book. Celeste, Nanette, and Taviana narrate their stories of living in the Fundamental Latter Day Saints cult of Unity in this fictional tale loosely based on cults such as those run by Warren Jeffs in the United States and James Orler in Canada. The book has a few difficult scenes, but for the most part, the horrors that actually occur to young girls in these groups are softened for younger audiences.
The characterization is interesting, and the author depicts the difficulties of being entrapped in a child-bride marriage. The issue for these girls is not just black and white. Some like Nanette have been truly brain-washed, while others struggle to find a voice against precepts they are slowly coming to disagree with. However, at times, Nanette is put in the role of a "faithful daughter" while Celeste is a "rebel." I think this gives teen readers a point of reference, but it also simplifies the situations a bit.
Also problematic is the fact that the boys in these cults are kicked out once they reach maturity. At times, the boys in the cult are portrayed as runaways, a characterization I disagreed with.
While I think the book The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff better depicted the realities of FLDS cults for adults, I do think that this book was a good introduction to the subject for teen readers. The setting was filled with realistic details, and in the end, the author created a modern-day dystopia comparable to the types of science fiction stories most younger readers are familiar with. It could also be a great follow-up for any teen (or adult) who has caught an episode of Sister Wives or Big Love on TV and wants to know a bit more about how these groups are actually run.
Find it on Amazon HERE