The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly


Stephanie Oakes

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something—but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.


Eliana’s Opinion:

2 Stars

Minnow was impassioned and pragmatic even after the horrors she faced, maybe because of them. She loved fiercely and had an inherent desire to protect those she loved which I admired in her. Her stubbornness and level-headedness during crisis also appealed her to me.

It’s difficult to write a novel that deals with this kind of disturbing situation, a fanatic brainwashing cult, without stooping to extremes and dabbling in the realm of the unbelievable. I’m not saying that situations like this never happen only that for most of us, or for me at least, they seem to affect people in a far off reality. The author brilliantly ties the horrors of Minnow’s experiences with the modern day world. Submerging her into the cold and bleak atmosphere of a juvenile detention center seems like paradise compared to circumstances that led her there. But she’s still leaving one prison only to be entrapped in another. Now normally I dislike flashbacks but this book used them to its advantage, giving us glimpses of Minnow’s life with the cult without divulging too much or becoming repetitive.

And even though the book had so many good points I struggled to remain captivated. I can’t really pinpoint why, it could be the devastating storyline or the overall horrifying events, but while I thought the novel was interesting I put it down for long periods of time before wrestling myself to pick it up again. Furthermore, the revelations were done in such a way that while surprising none of them left me shocked or truly dismayed. This novel was thrilling and disturbing and I definitely think it’s worth your while if that’s up your alley.


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