I received this book from a Bookish First giveaway. Once I read the first few chapters, I couldn’t wait to see if I would actually win it for I wanted so much more! When it arrived in my mailbox, I did an internal dance of excitement and started it straight away.
This world is extremely frustrating for a woman and it reminded me a little of the Handmaid’s Tale. Women are meant to do chores and literally not speak. Daniel is the leader of their group and he created a sanctuary to protect his citizen’s from the outside world where it is full of crime, lust & hate. The story starts off with the group having their second matrimony ceremony and getting ready for the festivities.
This is where we meet our cast of characters. The story is mainly told in dual POV by Miriam and Caleb. I adored both of these characters. They both were born in the sanctuary, so this is the only life they have ever known. The concept is that the men get a sign from God in their dreams which they journal daily. Daniel helps them to interpret their dreams and helps them choose whom their wife should be at the time of the ceremony. The men get to choose while the women are just to obey and not question. As children, they would all play together but once they reached a certain age, the girls & boys are separated until the day of their marriage ceremony. They are not to speak or touch each other until then. Miriam & Caleb both know that they should be together but somehow there is a snafu and the story takes an interesting twist.
At first, this world seemed amazing. They lived such a simple life filled with their undying faith. But, somewhere while reading, I started to get this icky feeling deep in my gut and I knew things just weren’t as they seemed.
The ending left me full of sorrow. I am thankful to the author that she gave us a very nicely wrapped up last chapter. I believe this book is a stand alone but would love to see how Miriam fairs after the fact with all that has happened to her.
This is Ms. Schuren’s debut novel and honestly, I loved it. There was never a dull moment and I felt the book’s pacing was perfection. I am looking forward to seeing what else she has in store for us.