Book Review: Amity and Sorrow by Peggy Riley

In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her children and flees from the fundamentalist cult in which her children were born and raised. Now she is on the run with only her barely aged teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, neither of whom have seen the outside world, to help her. After four days of driving Amaranth crashes the car, leaving the family stranded at a gas station, hungry and terrified.

Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a downtrodden farmer, a man who offers sanctuary when the women need it most. However while Amity blossoms in this new world, free from her father's tyranny, Sorrow will do anything to get back home. Although Amaranth herself is beginning to understand the nature of the man she has left, she needs the answer to one question; what happened to the other wives and children.

Release Date: March 28, 2013
Age Group: Adult
Source: NetGalley

It's been a while since I read such an intense book.  Not only does Amity and Sorrow have a very heavy subject matter, Riley's writing read like literary fiction.  I had to use the dictionary feature on my Kindle several times, and that's unusual for me.  

Amity and Sorrow was a good book.  It is very intelligently and emotionally written.  I liked Riley's writing style and thought it suited the story very well.  I loved the way Riley wrote the emotions of her characters.  I loved Amaranth's strength and enjoy reading about a strong female lead, especially a mother.

What kept me from loving this book though, was how sad it made me.  There were definitely no happily-ever-afters, and while a traditional HEA would have made Amity and Sorrow feel unrealistic, I confess that I was still hoping for one.  This book made me melancholy---in fact, I would not recommend reading it unless you are in a good place emotionally.  I take things to heart, and reading about Amaranth, Amity and Sorrow's life really made me sad.  That feeling of despair kept me from falling in love with the book. 

I would still recommend Amity and Sorrow and in fact, probably would have enjoyed it much more had I not been going through a tough time of illness at the time that I read it.


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