The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

17185496by Stephanie Oakes
YA Contemporary
5 of 5 stars
Debut novel – June 9, 2015

I never expected to give a debut novel five stars, but this book blew me away! This is the type of story I’ve only encountered on-screen (think “Silence of the Lambs” or “True Story”) but I loved watching it unfold on the page. It interweaves the old folk tale The Girl with No Hands/The Handless Maiden with a modern twist.

Minnow escaped her cult for good the night the entire Community burned to the ground. The night her only outside friend, Jude, was killed. The night the Prophet was silenced forever. The detectives want to know what really happened, but Minnow isn’t talking.

What makes Minnow such a fascinating character is her strength in the midst of ignorance. Not only is she dealing with the absence of her hands, she is confronting the destruction of her entire world and all of her beliefs. She knows the Prophet was a liar, but she has nothing to fill the gaps with if she rejects the cult teachings. Her journey to knowledge of the world and of herself manages to be both heart-breaking and hopeful.

This story is gruesome and haunting and definitely worth reading! Minnow’s story is unlike anything I’ve read, but I’ll do my best with recommendations.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is available on Goodreads and on Powell’s store website, here. Powell’s has several locations in Oregon, and is one of the largest independent bookstores in the country. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!


Similar reads:

  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – Yes, it’s a jump to zombies, but the small cult of Sisters sheltering Mary from the outside world is similar and this is an interesting read. See my review here.
  • Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis – Maren struggles to learn about her past and what is in store for her future as someone who enjoys the taste of human flesh. Maren is so much more than her condition, and her quest to find her place in the world is engrossing. See my review here.
  • A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan – Althoug Rose isn’t physically deformed, her long exposure to statis and lack of knowledge about her world gives her a similar struggle to Minnow. Her emotional journey is different but just as strong.
  • Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke – Three points of view (hero, liar, villain) tell you a creepy tale from a small mountain town. See my review here.
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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Daughter of Deep Silence | To Live a Thousand Lives
  2. Trackback: Gabi, A Girl in Pieces | To Live a Thousand Lives
  3. Trackback: Wink Poppy Midnight | To Live a Thousand Lives
  4. Trackback: The Girl Who Fell | To Live a Thousand Lives

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