In the opening scene, we find Minnow under a bridge, covered in blood after she has just beaten someone almost to death. We then experience her arrest and trial. She ends up in a juvenile detention center. Given Minnow's previous existence, prison is a very hard adjustment.
As this part of the story unfolds, Minnow takes us back to her past, where when she was five years old her father moved her family deep into the woods. He's been enamored with The Prophet (Kevin) who has convinced him to give up his worldly ways. So Minnow has lived a very sheltered life in the cult. Always in fear of torture and beatings, she has the scars to prove it.
We learn very early in the book that Minnow's hands have been cut off. We don't really learn how this happened until much later in the book. Minnow also reveals her relationship with a boy in the woods near the cult -- how she sneaked out to meet him for years. The reader is pretty sure early on that this boy was punished, and killed, by the cult after his discovery. We also learn early on that the buildings in the cult have all burned, and Kevin, The Prophet, is dead.
Many of these stories are told to Minnow's cell mate or her counselor, who is also an FBI agent. He want's Minnow to tell him who killed Kevin. In return, he will testify at her parole hearing to help her. It's interesting to see the trust build up between these two. The relationship between Minnow and her cell mate is also complex and interesting.
The changing relationships, both in Minnow's past and present, are part of what makes The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly fascinating. Also the unbelievable story that unfolds of the nutcase Prophet and his followers.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a very quick read that I flew threw. I think teens who enjoy cult stories must read this one. This is a great story that will get you thinking about blind faith and how people can get in these kinds of situations and are unable to break free. Can't wait to pass The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly around to my teens.
Published by Dial, 2015
Copy obtained from the library
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