Sunday, June 16, 2013

Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley



Amity & Sorrow is a really interesting story about two children raised in a cult, their mother and their flight for freedom. It begins with Amaranth who is fleeing into the dark away from her husband, her 50 sister wives, and the horrors that lingered behind her. 4 days and nights Amaranth drove until she crashed the car and was rescued by a beaten down farmer. 

Amity and Sorrow are children who have lived their whole lives in the cult, surrounded by prayer and sister wives. Suddenly thrust into a world that confuses them, they are burdened with rules and laws that don't work in the every day world. But as they find space on the farmer's porch Amity begins to find her freedom. She begins small by breaking the rules to speak with Dust, the farmer's adopted son. Sorrow, on the other hand, can not seem to find her place in this new world where she is just like everyone else. In the cult she was the prophet's first daughter, born from his first wife, and was also the oracle. She would stand beside her father and look into the bowl of water and call out prophecies. Now in a world with no prayer, no wives, and only a broken piece of the bowl, she longs for her father and the world she knew and she will do whatever it takes to go home. 

Amaranth looks at her children and wonders were she went wrong. In the beginning they had such ideals. The religion was created with the idea that all women deserved a place where they could be safe and loved. She had been his first wife and he had been the first person to make her feel fully loved. But now years later she feels like the meaning of what they had tried to do has been lost and now, now there are hints that Sorrow might be his newest wife and that she can't allow. And so she had fled from everything familiar in the hopes of protecting her daughter who didn't want to be protected. But in getting lost Amaranth found herself.  After the farmer lets her and the girls stay on his porch she begins to find herself drawn to the this enigmatic man who continues to struggle against the dirt of Oklahoma. 

I really enjoyed this book. I thought it gave a really interesting insight as to what could start a cult and then how it can change as the people mature and change and seek things that they had never longed for before. It was entertaining to see how the girls interacted with things that we see everyday like candy and soda pop. And it even made me think much more kindly about Grapes of Wrath which is one of the few novels that I genuinely don't enjoy. 

I definitely recommend grabbing this book and reading it if you are looking for something deep and introspective!