Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
"Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can't shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul."- summary from Amazon
This was such a thoughtful, carefully crafted look at patriarchal religious towns and families, and the idea of being able to find the right balance between secular and faithful thinking. It was difficult at times reading this book, seeing all that Rachel goes through while living with her family (and knowing that there are young girls and boys in the real world subjected to this kind of fanatical thinking); I would occasionally have to take a step back to calm down before continuing to read. Mathieu dexterously shows the conflict between family, faith, and creating your own path, as well as all the different perspectives. We see the family's perspective and Rachel's of course, but we also get to see an ex-member of this town in the character of Lauren and how growing up there affected her.
Overall, this is a beautifully written book and I highly recommend it.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.