Sunday 2 February 2014

Review - Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley

Amity and SorrowAmity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Tinder Press

Pages - 326

Blurb from Goodreads

In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her children and flees from the fundamentalist cult in which her children were born and raised. Now she is on the run with only her barely aged teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, neither of whom have seen the outside world, to help her. After four days of driving Amaranth crashes the car, leaving the family stranded at a gas station, hungry and terrified.

Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a downtrodden farmer, a man who offers sanctuary when the women need it most. However while Amity blossoms in this new world, free from her father's tyranny, Sorrow will do anything to get back home. Although Amaranth herself is beginning to understand the nature of the man she has left, she needs the answer to one question; what happened to the other wives and children.

My Review

Amaranth, Amy, is the mother of Amity & Sorrow all of whom have just ran from their home. A fundamentalist cult, shared with 50 other wives in a polygamy relationship, one religious leader and other children. Under the eye of the police a fire breaks out and Amy sees this as her chance. They come upon a farmer and take refuge there, the daughters want to go back to their father, Amy is unsure of how to behave and just wants to keep them safe but fears her husband, Zachariah, is hot on their tails.

Amity & Sorrow is very much about fleeing from a cult that has brainwashed them and trying to reintegrate with the world. The farmer tolerates their presence and doesn't kick them off his property and the story goes between the present and how they cope to snippets from the past that leads to present day.

To be honest, this is a marmite type book, some have loved it and some have hated it, I am a bit of a fence sitter to be honest. I liked some parts of, the reintegration to society and how they each cope, or fail to, away from "the family".

The characters didn't offer much depth at all, snippets are revealed about what they have endured however there are so many questions left unanswered. Sorrow is clearly the most affected by the cult, religious preaching and events that happened to her however she cuts a hard figure to connect to on any level. The book covers topics of religion, molestation, relationships and polygamy however none go into any kind of depth which will suit some readers and irritate others. The jumps from past to present aren't clearly defined and sometimes I had to check in case I had missed something as at times it seemed irrelevant.

I feel maybe had the book been longer and more time given to segments it really could have been a powerful read. As it was I was left with questions and a lack of understanding of why the characters did and behaved as they did. Still worth checking out, I would try this author again sometime in the future but for me, this one is a 3/5.

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  1. I still have this TBR. Great balanced review, Lainy.

  2. I think that in a book like this I would be looking for strong characters as well as some exploration of the important issues that are addressed.

  3. I thought this was done really well and I loved it. I thought the characterisation suited the book and I would have been put off it it was a great big tome that went into too much detail. But we can't all like the same things. :)

  4. I find the idea of a cult like this rather disturbing, shame the novel was not long enough to go into the depth the subject deserved.

  5. Definitely a marmite book, sadly it wasn't one I enjoyed.


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