Monday, June 29, 2015

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Title: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Author: Stephanie Oakes
Number of Pages: 396
Date Read: 6/29/15
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Thriller, Contemporary

Synopsis (Found on

A hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in yourself

The 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.

My Review:

This book was good. It is a very fast read and I read this book in one sitting. 

Basically this book is about Minnow who gets arrested for assault. Minnow had just run away from her cult home that was just destroyed, when she assaulted a guy. The book takes place while Minnow is in juvie awaiting her parole hearing, a few months away. The prophet of her cult was found dead the night the community she lived in was destroyed. So the FBI sends in Dr. Wilson, who is a forensic psychologist, to talk to Minnow and get her help. They make a deal, Minnow will tell Dr. Wilson what he wants to know and he will write a recommendation for her parole hearing. So starts the story of Minnow. The story is told in flashbacks to her time in the community and in the present during her incarceration. 

I liked Minnow a lot. She has been through so much in that cult. Her parents joined the cult when she was five and her father became the prophet's second in command. Minnow is a very curious girl, too curious for the cult. She questions things which makes the prophet angry and her calls her touched by the devil...yeah right. She remembers things from living in the city (the community lives in the wilderness in a forested park in Montana) and questions some things the prophet says as she gets older. She has survived incredible violence against her: whippings, beatings and having her hands cut off. Let me tell you that scene is sooo disturbing and I cringed while reading it. Minnow was also a rule breaker in the community and had her own secret: since she was 14 she was friends with a black boy named Jude who also lived in the woods. As they grew up romance blossomed. This was against her cult teachings which taught that black people were evil. 

I really liked how you can see Minnow change from being a scared weak girl into a strong one. In the beginning of the book she was scared and basically knew nothing about the outside world. She was meek and quiet. Once in prison she blossoms. She meets her roommate Angel, who is very into science and teaches Minnow about it. She also teaches Minnow about friendship (although Angel doesn't realize it) and Angel becomes Minnow's best friend. She stands up for Minnow and helps her navigate through prison. Minnow goes to school in the prison where she learns to read. She also questions everything the prophet said and learns to find out answers for herself instead of believing what people tell her. She also learns to stand up for weaker people and for whats right. By the end of the book, Minnow is a strong young woman ready to live in the city and make it on her own. 

I really liked Angel. She is a pisser. She is very tough and is not afraid to beat up on people or stand her ground. She also has a filthy mouth but I like that about her. She has a soft spot for Minnow and gradually helps her become accustomed to prison life. Angel is very smart and does well in the prison school. She is very opinionated and stands her ground for what she believes in. She has had horrible things happen to her too but she survived. 

I also liked Dr. Wilson. He was very nice and helpful to Minnow. It was funny seeing him and Minnow get into arguments. He pushed Minnow with his questions and she pushed him right back. He was her source and reason for letting her story out. I also liked Jude, Minnow's boyfriend. He was very country like and loved her very much. The prophet and her father were crazy and the prophet got what was coming to him. The religion he invented didn't even make sense, it was so dumb. He was a violent dirty psychopath. 

Anyway I like this book and I liked the way Minnow turned out in the end. A strong heroine. 

Rating: B+

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