Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can't shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.
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A Different Spin on Coming-of-Age
Yes, I will listen to this story again. I grew up around families who held similar beliefs to Rachel's family, so her story resonated strongly with me.
Many of the memorable moments for me are spoiler-y, but I loved the relationship between Rachel and her next-younger sister, Ruth. I also loved the relationships she built with people outside her family (trying to stay spoiler-free here), and also how the story shows us several very different reactions to growing up in such a strictly religiously fundamentalist lifestyle.
I don't believe I've listened to Jennifer Grace narrate another book, but she did an excellent job with this one.
I'm honestly curious to see how someone unfamiliar with the Christian fundamentalist/patriarchy/homeschool culture would react to this story. The way Rachel was raised felt very familiar to me--as I said earlier, I had a number of friends raised in similar circumstances--which made me resonate strongly with the story. Mathieu's writing and character development is so strong, however, that I think people unfamiliar with Rachel's culture would still enjoy this book.