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.
I think we should address the elephant in the room-The Duggars.
Even though this book tells the story who believes in a similar version of Christianity than them I’m not going to try not to limit my references to those morons throughout this review (it will probably inevitably happen though and probably a lot given the circumstances since I will be talking about the quiverfull movement).
Coming into this reading experience, my only knowledge of them was of the Duggars. And since I don’t have that much respect for them (if any) I didn’t do that much research on them until the whole scandal involving their bigot/molester son got out and I went onto the Previously TV forums and found out way too much about their
cult religion. When I heard about how Devoted looked at the quiverfull movement, I decided I needed to give a whirl because I honestly wanted to have some reading material that was not tainted by Duggar disgustingness.
I will say from what I generally have read around the internets and seen of that horrible TV show, Mathieu totally nailed it. I felt like the quiverfull religion was done well. You get that since of blind faith, isolation, and ignorance. And my heart broke for Rachel and her family (minus her stupid father and sister) throughout the first few pages.
It was done tastefully too. It never bashed said movement, but it did portray it realistically. And even though Rachel’s parents aren’t exactly perfect by any means and make some big time mistakes, they aren’t the Duggars.
Seriously, Arkansas CPS you failed. And girls, you should totally sue Jim Boob and Josh-lestor civilly if it’s still an option.
I know, I know, I promised not to talk about them but it occasionally going to happen in this review. Because when talking about the quiverfull movement you inevitably start talking about them.
Back on topic, Mathieu really did a wonderful job portraying this religious sect as not being one dimensional. Which was probably a hard thing to do, see Duggars. You really felt like all of the people were people even with their cult like tendencies.
Where the book faltered was after Rachel escaped. I just felt like it dragged a bit and in a way went nowhere. Sure, some stuff happened. And to be honest, it was probably handled fairly realistically but it was a bit of a downer.
I did like the fact that the romance, if you could call it that, was underplayed. That was refreshing and it felt right in the story, I just…I don’t know. I felt like even though the romance aspect was done right, I would’ve like to have seen the character deal with the years of brain washing a little bit more than she did. It just felt like she got out of there and then what…
I did like how Mathieu decided to show how religion COULD be a healthy part of someone’s life. I often feel like people go on extremes with religion, either having it in your life or NOT having it in your life. There can be a healthy balance.
Then again, what do I know I’m just a heathen bad Catholic that just happens to be a liberal and a feminist (who doesn’t believe in using solely the rhythm method).
Overall Rating: A nice B+ very solid, but I wouldn’t liked to see things fleshed out more. Still though, the book was done tastefully and really should be getting more attention than it has been.