A mother and her daughters drive for days without sleep until they crash their car in rural Oklahoma. The mother, Amaranth, is desperate to get away from someone she's convinced will follow them wherever they go - her husband. The girls, Amity and Sorrow, can't imagine what the world holds outside their father's polygamous compound. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of Bradley, a farmer grieving the loss of his wife.
At first unwelcoming to these strange, prayerful women, Bradley's abiding tolerance gets the best of him, and they become a new kind of family. An unforgettable story of belief and redemption, Amity & Sorrow is about the influence of community and learning to stand on your own.
©2013 Peggy Riley (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Highly character-driven, and the characters, while not especially likable, were very compelling. It's a rare book that allows a reader to actively dislike more of the characters but still ardently pull for them to turn out OK. The ending felt unfinished, but that's typical of a lot of "literary" novels, of which this is clearly one. Not sure Id have gotten through the text version but the audio had me listening in my driveway, and while doing housework.
This is a tale about trust--offered, betrayed, avenged, and redeemed. It contrasts the resiliency some souls and the despair of others. It is a classic struggle between what seems to be good and what is revealed to be evil.
It is also a story of love-- between a woman and her daughters, between sisters, between a lonely little girl and an ignored old man, and mostly between a passionate couple that both need to overcome the loss of trust and joy.
The farmer's message to the woman he loved expressed by the crops he selected to grow.
The reader had a range of voices. She has a sweet and simple voice that enhanced the sincerity of the story.
The book left me hopeful for the redemption of most of the characters.
This is a great book. It feels like a classic. It has a very rich plot and wonderful character development. It seems simple but continues to build to the very end of the story.
God, Sex, Farming
Ms. Riley has clearly done extensive research about cults. Through her story, guided by research, we learn about the life within a polygamous cult.
I developed a sympathy and understanding of the characters, which translated to a better understanding of a polygamous cult from a members' perspective. I developed a broader understanding of "family".
Is the book an endorsement of polygamous cults? Not by any means. She does allow the reader to make their own decision and perhaps broaden their understanding of other social structures.
Amity. We don't know her well, but she is intriguing.
Amaranth. I understand why she did what she did, but it would be interesting to give her alternative views.
A dark but enlightening book. A very worthwhile listen. Can't wait for her next work!
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