How did I get it?:
I bought it!
Previously reviewed by the same author:
The Truth About Alice
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.
I really enjoyed Jennifer Mathieu’s debut novel, so I was pleased to finally getting around to reading her next book Devoted. I fully expected my emotions to be played around with and that’s exactly what happened with this book.
Devoted centres around Rachel who is a Christian living with her ten (yes ten!) siblings and her parents. Rachel is completely devoted to her religion. She has no time for herself and instead cares for her younger siblings and concentrates on being a good girl so that she can be married to a boy in the future. Rachel’s parents, particularly her dad, tell her what to do from what to think to how she should present herself in the public. Rachel begins to find herself doubting her lifestyle. She feels guilty for these thoughts which aren’t very Christian. Rachel begins exploring a blog from an ex member of their community. The girl has escaped the rigid lifestyle and is living her own life. Rachel is intrigued…
I think this book could potentially offend some people as it does go to town on describing organised religion in such a raw manner. It tells the reader that Rachel is meant to be a mother and a wife. She must have children, keep her home and be obedient towards her husband. They aren’t allowed to watch television, use the computer for too long- there are so many rules. If anyone breaks the rules, they get sent to a camp to basically have the ‘badness’ brainwashed out of them. The people that have been to the camp often return completely unlike their normal selves. As someone who has never followed a religion so strictly, I’m not sure if this was an accurate portrayal of a strict Christian’s lifestyle. It seemed extremely cult-like. It was certainly intriguing though and the author makes you think.
As I’m not a big fan of Christian fiction, you may wonder why I kept reading this book. Well, it had something about it. It’s not just about the religious aspect of it. It really is about Rachel finding herself and growing as a person. I liked that Rachel was questioning her values and wanting to find out if there was more from life. I also really enjoy Jennifer Mathieu’s writing style. It was gripping and very easy to read. There are so many quotable moments within this book and I think it’s worth reading.
Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars