Agnes and Honey have always been best friends, but they haven't always been so different. Agnes loves being a Believer. She knows the rules at the Mount Blessing religious commune are there to make her a better person. Honey hates Mount Blessing and the control Emmanuel, their leader, has over her life. The only bright spot is the butterfly garden she's helping to build, and the journal of butterflies that she keeps. When Agnes's grandmother makes an unexpected visit to the commune, she discovers a violent secret that the Believers are desperate to keep quiet. And when Agnes's little brother is seriously injured and Emmanuel refuses to send him to a hospital, Nana Pete takes the three children and escapes the commune. Their journey begins an exploration of faith, friendship, religion and family for the two girls, as Agnes clings to her familiar faith while Honey desperately wants a new future.
Inspired by her childhood in a religious commune, Galante's swift-moving debut novel may hold a ripped-from-the-headlines fascination for readers. But those who take the bait will find more contrivance than substance in the tale of two teenage girls' very different attitudes about the cloistered life they have been born into. Secluded at the Mount Blessing compound under the rule of the manipulative Emmanuel, 14-year-old Agnes strives for sainthood. Her best friend, Honey, however, questions Emmanuel's tactics and authority, and secretly longs for a normal life with TV, fashionable clothes and fast food. An injury to Agnes's younger brother sets in motion a daring escape from Mount Blessing orchestrated by the siblings' grandmother, with Honey along for the ride. As relationships strain and new situations arise, no one is sure what move to make next. The girls' friendship and their respective expressions of doubt in their faith and in the adults they love seem mostly convincing, but heavy foreshadowing and too many neatly aligned coincidences detract from the story. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It was pretty cool
Overall, I think this was a very well written book. It deserves five starts but I give it four. It's missing one because it isn't exactly clear to me but I liked the outline
I loved it! Its an amazing book!
I love this book. It was fast paced, fun, and so detailed. Some things were a bit to predictable like SPOILER-Lillian being Honey's mom. The second they mentioned that she had red hair gave me a hint. But when she asked about honey, to me it was a give away. Another giveaway was the siamese cat...-END SPOILER. I would give this book 4 and half, but since I couldn't do that, I settled on 5. The books is amazing though, for anyone looking to buy it, get it. Its really cool. There were times when I was talking to myself, fantasizing what the characters should do next. When you read the end, you will be happy and excited about the final outcome.