Amity & Sorrow, Hardback
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


AMITY & SORROW is a story about God, sex, and farming. It's THE LOVELY BONES meets WITNESS: an unforgettable journey into the horrors a true believer can inflict upon his family, and what it is like to live when the end of the world doesn't come.

In the wake of a suspicious fire, Amaranth gathers her barely-teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, and flees from the cult her husband ran.

After four days of driving, Amaranth crashes the car, leaving the family stranded at a gas station.

Rescue comes in the unlikely form of a downtrodden farmer, a man who offers sanctuary when the women need it most.

AMITY & SORROW is the story of these remarkable women, their lives before the night they fled, and their heartbreaking, hopeful future.

For, while Amity blossoms in this new world, Sorrow will move heaven and earth trying to get back home. And, meanwhile, the outside world hasn't forgotten about the fire on the compound.




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A tender, written from the heart novel, this was a very interesting read.Amaranth is the first wife of self styled "God" Zachariah. But there are 49 other wives and this "religious" sect leader certainly preaches free love. Following a very suspicious fire at their at their commune, Amaranth grabs her two teenage daughters, Amity and Sorrow, gets in the car and drives to who knows where. After crashing the vehicle, help comes in the most unlikely shape of a struggling farmer, Bradley. His run down gas station on the edge of his farm becomes home to the three runaways.Amity takes to the new life with a sense of relief, but not Sorrow, who just wants to go home and live under Zachariah's warped spell. Is there more to his hold over the young girl? Amaranth slowly begins to understand herself and the delusions she has been playing along with. Her fear that Zachariah will follow them to the ends of the earth to retrieve them is palpable. I loved the characters in this book. Amaranth, and the realisation of what she has allowed to happen to herself and her daughters, cuts a lonely figure who only seems to be able to make a connection to her rescuer by offering him sex. Amity, on the cusp of womanhood, who is trying to understand a world she never knew existed is such a strong voice....a voice she has never been allowed to speak. Sorrow, a deluded and confused soul, who is lost without her father/God telling her what she must do, is the saddest of all. Bradley's elderly father, confined to his bed, a miserable curmudgeon....but he becomes Amity's teacher and companion. Dust, the aptly named farm worker, who strives to please everyone and Bradley himself, totally confused by these strange females and later horrified by what they have been subjected to in the name of a false "God."This is Peggy Riley's first novel and it is a credit to her. It may not be to everyone's taste, but I loved it and thoroughly recommend it.

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