Carol Lynch Williams' forthcoming book, THE CHOSEN ONE (St. Martin's Press, May 2009) is one that certainly sounded familiar to me. Kyra is a member of the Chosen Ones, a polygamist group which leaves separate from the rest of the community that surrounds it. She has been brought up to believe in the rules of her religion. However, Kyra has violated some of the restrictions. She secretly climbs aboard the mobile library (book mobile) and checks out books that, if she were to be caught, would lead to a great deal of trouble. She also has formed a get-away place in her favorite tree where she reads and dreams of a life free of the restrictions placed upon her. Now, the leader of the group comes to Kyra with the news she is to marry her uncle. If Kyra refuses, her family will be punished and so will she. How can she flee from this situation without hurting those she loves?
Carol Lynch Williams tackles some incredibly tough subjects here in a book that is bound to create some discussion about religion and power. In much the same way as THE CHOCOLATE WAR spurred reactions and responses to the evil power wielded by someone who claims to be a leader of the faithful, this book examines what occurs when someone questions authority within the religious setting. It is a disturbing but, ultimately, important book.
ARCs are not available until the end of the year. But do be on the lookout for this one.