The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Sometimes I find it really hard to express what I think of a book.  This usually happens when I’ve read a book that is amazingly wonderful.  I do love it when this happens but I can’t quite explain why I loved it so much.  This has happened with The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly.  Please bear with me as I try to explain.

y648The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, and her ability to trust.

And when Minnow rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now the Kevinian Prophet has been murdered and the camp set aflame and it’s clear Minnow knows something. But she’s not talking. As she adjusts to a life behind bars in juvenile detention, Minnow struggles to make sense of all she has been taught to believe, particularly as she dwells on the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of; if she is willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is an amazing book and I absolutely loved it!  It’s a powerful, harrowing and haunting story that had me gripped from beginning to end.  Minnow’s story is a compulsive read and Stephanie Oakes had me hanging on her every word.  From the very first page you want to know Minnow’s story and how she ended up standing over a blood-soaked body.  Through her story that she tells to Dr Wilson and her cell-mate Angel, we piece together Minnow’s life.  I love the way that Stephanie Oakes draws out the story, giving us pieces of the puzzle right to the very end.

Minnow is an really interesting character, who shows determination, resilience and bravery in a horrible situation.  Spending most of her life in The Community, Minnow must follow the rules and edicts laid down by The Prophet, the leader of the Kevinians.  Minnow sneaks out of The Community and meets a boy called Jude who helps her to discover that the world isn’t exactly how The Prophet has portrayed it.  Minnow starts to doubt everything she has been told and when she refuses to marry The Prophet and runs away, she faces the horrific consequences.  Stephanie Oakes’ description of Minnow’s hands being chopped off by her father with a hatchet is harrowing and will stick with me.  I could picture quite clearly what was happening and it made me physically cringe.  Even though Minnow has no hands she has the strength to carry on and make her life her own.

I also loved the relationships that Minnow had with the other characters in the book.  Minnow’s cell-mate Angel is a friend and confidante to Minnow.  Although Angel doesn’t reveal much about herself and why she is in the correctional facility, Minnow opens up to her and tells her her story.  Angel spends most of her time reading and when she learns that Minnow can’t read she helps her to learn.  Another character that helps Minnow learn to read and shares her passion for books is one of the teachers, Miss Bailey.  Both Miss Bailey and Angel help to open up a new world for Minnow.  Dr Wilson, Minnow’s psychologist, is the most intriguing characters because you don’t quite know what his motives are.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is an amazing story that ends with a sense of hope.  It’s a book that I won’t forget and I’m sure to keep thinking about Minnow and what her life might be like after the story has finished.

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Filed under young adult, young adult fiction

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