New piece over on thalo about Peggy Riley’s amazing new novel, Amity & Sorrow. I don’t love every book I end up reviewing (AHEM), but I’d really recommend this one for lovely prose revealing a thoughtful and sometimes dark story.
Peggy Riley’s novel Amity and Sorrow tells the story of Amaranth, the first wife of Zachariah’s fifty wives, and her two daughters, Amity and Sorrow, as they leave the secret compound that has been their home. Riley’s prose is always beautiful, with lyrical descriptions of the changing seasons. The story is revealed through allusion and memory, rather than chronologically presented. Disjointed sections recreate Amaranth’s own confusion between her life on the compound, and off the compound. Zachariah’s cult is unsettlingly believable in Amaranth’s flashback memories. She remembers a growing commune, as lonely women arrive, looking for family and home and faith. As time passes, the compound grows from a collection of contented, polyamorous outsiders to a cult disturbingly devoted to the end of days.