Peggy Riley’s dark tale of the runaway daughters of a messianic cult leader is creepily convincingA novel about “God, sex, and farming” might not seem the most obvious of combinations, nor the most enticing of subjects, but American-born playwright Peggy Riley’s first novel, Amity & Sorrow, is a story of a mother’s attempt to save her daughters from the fundamentalist polygamous cult run by her husband Zachariah, a self‑appointed messiah.The novel begins with a car crash. After four days of driving across the country, Amaranth, dog-tired and jumpy, and her daughters, 12-year-old Amity and her older sister Sorrow, find themselves in dusty Oklahoma solely reliant on the kindness of the stranger who finds their wreck, Bradley, a rape farmer fighting his own battles of survival.Married to Zachariah at 17, the workings of the wider world still lie in Amaranth like a muscle memory, but their isolated upbringing is all her children know. Amity’s increasingly inquiring and questioning mind throws off some of the shackles of her past, but Sorrow, still her father’s most devoted follower, is aflame with prophecies of the Rapture and condemnation of her mother’s sinful flight.Amaranth was one of 50 wives, “each wedding like a thread, sewing …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books