Julia Watts

Fiction 2018 / 289 pages


I often enjoy, as you know, teen novels.  This one is a little too teen ... a little too simplistic.  But still, it is such a delightful story, I gulped it down!

Libby (short for Liberty) and her family are devout conservative patriarchal Christians. At 16, she is the oldest of six children (Patience, Justice, Faith, Charity, and Valor are her siblings, with #7 on the way ). They are home-schooled, live under the loving but highly controlling rules of their father, never socialize with anyone outside of their church, and spend their days insulated in their family, studying, reading the Bible, preparing food, playing games together.

And then the Forrester family moves in next door, in their rural community. Zo is Libby's age, and suddenly Libby is exposed to blue jeans and shorts, atheism, vegetarians, equal decision-making between parents, questioning, thoughtful consideration of life, lifestyles, values, and culture.  Libby makes a gender-fluid friend in Zo.

Of course, you know what is going to happen as Libby actually does become liberated.  But the journey is interesting, especially as both sets of parents try to be good neighbors to each other, even though their belief systems are diametrically opposed.

This is a fun, if easy, read.

June 2023