The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
“I guess people can’t be content without answers, even if they are wrong. We’d rather have a lie than a question that we can never know the answer to.”
Seventeen year old Minnow Bly has just runaway from a life spent living in the secluded and very strict Kevinian cult. The religious cult has taken so much from her; her childhood, her education and both of her hands. The book starts off with Minnow standing over a bloodied body under a bridge. She is subsequently charged with aggravated assault and sentenced to a juvenile detention center. While there, she meets and befriends another girl named Angel who has plenty of her own secrets. Angel tries to help Minnow sort through her past as well as assimilate to her current situation.
“When I remember her, I picture that expression, like behind her eyes she had entire rooms that she didn’t let anyone see. And I realize now it was the book in her hands that’d made them.”
Minnow tries to separate the lies and truths of her previous life while coming to grips with the last days of her life in the cult. She has to try to figure out just what she believes vs. what she’s been told to believe for most of her life as well as learn just who she really is, as a person.
This book was excellent…the writing is beautiful! I did not want to put it down…every chapter left me wanting to continue reading. The characters are all wonderful…I felt like I could easily picture all of them in my head while reading. The main character, Minnow Bly, is feisty, strong and tenacious. Minnow and Angel’s friendship in the detention center was written so well and felt very authentic.
There are definitely parts of this story that are shocking and sad, but the overall tone of the book is not a depressing one. So, if you tend to shy away from books that might leave you feeling sad and depressed…no worries with this story. In my opinion, it’s definitely more thought provoking rather than disturbing.
There isn’t much that I didn’t like about this book. If I had to pick something…maybe the one thing that’s keeping me from giving it 5 full stars…is that I would have liked a little bit more about the day to day activities in the cult. But I understand that the focus of the story was more about Minnow’s recovery after leaving, so it’s not a huge issue for me at all.
My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars – Definitely recommend this book!