I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very good writing and a gripping story.
The protagonist of the story is 17-year-old Moonbeam who is recently rescued from a lifetime in the confines of a religious cult compound in a remote area of Texas. She recalls the events that took place there from the safety of a child protection unit.
Even through the eyes of Moonbeam, Hill gives insight into the thought processes of those caught up in the cult and how unsuspecting people can become so easily manipulated and brainwashed to go ahead with systems that the naturally would oppose. This reminds me of a famous psychology experiment called The Milgram Experiment (1963) in which participants were ordered to administer electric shocks at increasing voltages to others knowing that they would cause serious harm. The results showed shocking rates of obedience (65% people gave the highest voltage) which demonstrates that with authority people are highly likely to follow orders even to the point of killing a person. The experiment was developed to explore Nazi killings during WWII. You can read on this here and watch it here.
The themes explored in the book are leadership, family, polygamy, punishment, gun violence. It was a little slow to start but certainly well worth it a few chapters in. The story unfolds at a good pace having you always wanting to know, ‘what happened next?’
I highly recommend this book. I’m a pretty slow reader but was able to read it all in a couple of weeks – courtesy of a commute to work!
My rating is 4.5 stars.