“In this book, we follow a mother and her two daughters for a few months, after they have left the religious commune where the girls have lived all their life. They are on the run for their father, their mother’s husband, who has a total of fifty wives and many children living with...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“The mother had lived in the real world before helping to start/accepting a cult. Even after leaving, the choices she makes are simply things she lets happen through inaction. A slow read.”see full review » see other reviews »
“The mother had lived in the real world before helping to start/accepting a cult. Even after leaving, the choices she makes are simply things she lets happen through inaction. A slow read.”Kelly R wrote this review Wednesday, August 14, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A few months ago, Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley made the book blogger rounds and it was a big hit. I tried to snag a copy of it on NetGalley but missed the deadline and was lucky enough to have Leah in my life, who sent me her paperback copy. Now that I’ve read it, I’m not quite sure how it got to be so popular.
Don’t get me wrong – the book is good and I didn’t dislike it. I finished it within 36 hours so it obviously has its redeeming qualities. For one, the story is interesting (a mother and her two daughters fleeing a polygamist compound is automatically intriguing). And two, the ending was unexpected. Unfortunately, the experience was a bit fuzzy. I don’t know if it was the writing style or lack of character development that kept me at an arms length from the story, but I was unable to connect with it.
Part of the problem, for me, was that I went into the book thinking it was more about the polygamist culture than it was. Because the book starts off when the women flee the compound, I should have known that their lifestyle was hindsight and not the main focus. But based on other reviews that I had read, I thought that it was going to be more in-depth.
Despite my underwhelming response to this book, I am looking forward to reading some non-fiction books written by wives that have left their polygamist cultures. Maybe that is what I was looking for without fully realizing it until the end of Amity & Sorrow. So before you decide whether to read this book, check out some other reviews!”
“A disturbing look at the abuses (the male leader) of a non-sanctioned religious cult that endorses polygamy and abuses its women (rape of girls/daughters by a man who took 50 wives). Although beautifully written, I did not feel as deeply for the characters (the three women who run away from the cult -- Amaranth & her two daughters Amity & Sorrow) as I should have. The novel is a nice examination of guilt, shame, acceptance, the love and loyalty of family, the help and scorn of strangers and forgiveness/redemption. ”Gail B wrote this review Thursday, June 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ever read a book that put you in a "funk" the entire time? This one was it.
Yuck - how did this one get published?”
“In this book, we follow a mother and her two daughters for a few months, after they have left the religious commune where the girls have lived all their life. They are on the run for their father, their mother’s husband, who has a total of fifty wives and many children living with him.
Amity and Sorrow only know life in the commune and are totally ignorant about the world outside. They believe their father is God and are not at all happy that their mother took them away.
Bit by bit, the reader finds out the full story about the commune and the reason the mother left. Bradley, the farmer who is not happy to find them on their doorstep, slowly defrosts into a supportive person.
I really enjoyed reading this. The story is told in a kind of simple, sparse narrative that tells the reader enough to follow the story, but also makes curious as to the full story.
Not only do you want to know what exactly happened in the commune, but also what will happen to the three of them next. Will the husband find them? Will they stay at the farm, even though Bradley doesn’t want them? Will the girls flee back home without their mother?
A well-set out story that reminded me a little of The First Book of Calamity Leek (Paula Lichtarowicz) because of the naïvity of the girls, and of Dirt (David Vann) because of the rural setting and the painful family relationships.”
“A creepy book about a creepy cult -- scary. Beautifully written, but what a terrible subject. ”Linda S wrote this review Sunday, May 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley is the story of a mother who takes her two daughters and drives away from a cult compound. The mother is sure the father is going to come after them. The one daughter embraces the new life, even though she knows nothing about the outside world. However, the other daughter wants to go back to the life she has always known in the compound.
I enjoyed this book. It went fast and for this author's first book, I think she did really well!”
“More like two and a half stars. It's not terrible, it's just not as good as it could be. The style, while great, doesn't really suit what it seems like Riley is trying to do, or the story. Everything picks up in the final bit, making me wish the entire book was like that. The characters needed a lot more development, I think that's the biggest flaw here--you don't really start to care until fairly late in the story.
That said, there's a lot of good things here, it just needed more work, I think. Maybe it's first-novel issues.”