by Sheri Reynolds
I was skeptical about reading this book because I thought it would have a strong religious bent, but found that once I started it, I simply couldn\’t put it down. It is about religion, but not the way I had guessed. It reminded me a lot of Witch Child– by the tone, and how it\’s about a young girl who doesn\’t quite fit into a secluded community.
Ninah isn\’t sure she believes, though. She\’s afraid of the punishments and wants to feel close to God but also questions some things and finds herself growing attracted to James, her prayer partner. She\’s allowed to have private prayer sessions with James because the older folks see them as making a good match someday, and counsel the young people to seek out their hearts in prayer together. This goes in another direction, when Ninah and James convince themselves that their growing feelings for each other are a manifestation of God\’s love, so thus it can\’t be a sin when they express those feelings. Ninah ends up pregnant. The community does not react positively, to say the least. What follows is not at all what I expected, and I was gripped to the last page to find out what would happen to Ninah and the baby. Some parts of this story made me scratch my head, or roll my eyes- it\’s really weird in a few parts- and I wasn\’t too taken by the weaving metaphor- but the voice is lively, and the story compelling, of this young girl trying to find her way and lift her voice above all the strictures she lives with. (Especially as she sees how other kids are different, because she attends public school). The ending felt rather abrupt, but not enough to make me actively dislike the book. I would have liked to know more about how things worked out, but at least the community was starting to turn in a different direction by then.