The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
written by Stephanie Oakes
The polygamous Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust. And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too. Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something -- but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting 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's willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past. Description provided by publisher
Like Conviction, the last Morris Award finalist I read, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly also explores the main character's beliefs. But unlike the main character in Conviction, Minnow doesn't seem to be struggling with her faith. It seems pretty clear that Minnow doesn't buy into the Kevinian cult's beliefs and her struggles are how to live within a secluded community where women are kept illiterate and only valued for childbearing and rearing. Her only contact outside the cult is Jude, a boy who lives in the woods with his father and is almost as ignorant of the real world as Minnow is. After a horrific encounter with the Prophet, Minnow runs off and eventually ends up in a juvenile detention center. There she learns how to have faith in herself.
This book is based on the Brothers Grimm's fariy tale,The Handless Maiden.