Amity & Sorrow – Peggy Riley

“Amity watches what looks like the sun. An orange ball spins, high above her on a pole, turning in a hot, white sky. It makes her think of home and the temple; it makes her feel it is she who is spinning, turning about in a room filled with women, their arms upraised, their skirts belling out like moons. She thinks how the moon will go blood red and the sun turn black at the end of the world.”

Two sisters. One mother. One father. Fifty other wives. 
When a suspicious fire rages through their land Amaranth grabs her two daughters and flies. Fearing her husband or one of the other wives are coming after her she doesn’t stop. Until she is stopped by her car hitting a tree. Now she is stranded with only her teenager daughters who know nothing of the real world to help. They only know the world their father told them about. The one that the second coming is due for. The one that Sorrow believes she is a major part of. A farmer helps Amaranth and whilst she and Amity seem to be coming to terms with their new live Sorrow cannot leave the past behind her and will do anything to get back to her father. 
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This book was strange and beautiful but oh so sad and scary. Amity & Sorrow is a tale of god, love, sex and a new kind of family, and not one you’d want to be a part of. It is a harrowing story in places and it has no holds barred with its topics. 
The story is a dark, upsetting one. It starts with a fire, a four day journey without stopping, a car crash and a miscarriage. It gets worse from there but only in the topics it explores, the writing is incredible and it really makes you think. 
Amity & Sorrow is not a book I would usually pick up and it is certainly not a YA book. It’s topics are adult in nature and parts of the book can be quite graphic. The scenes where Amity is learning new things about the world really are eye opening because she doesn’t get to learn things in the right order, knowing about sex and death before even knowing how to read for example. 
The characters are hard to warm to and I, like others I know who have read this book, had particular problems with Sorrow. She has been abused and brainwashed, I understand that, and her life has been turned upside down. But she seems to be pure evil in some scenes and doesn’t ever seem to understand any of the consequences of her actions. Amity was a much stronger, likeable character who grew amazingly well within the pages. She had a hard time letting things go and wanted to see the good in everyone even when there was none but she was a great character. The other characters made for a brilliant story too and I loved the way the old man was, how much Bradley, the farmer, cared and Dust for helping. 
The book is a difficult one to read and took me about a month because I kept stopping and starting. It is not something to read when you are feeling down or something that should be read when you are after a lighthearted book. It makes you think about things and how the kind of environment that the girls grew up in does actually exist and how wrong that is. It’s a harsh book but I’m glad I did eventually read it as it will stick with me for years to come. 
Amity & Sorrow was published on August 29th by Tinder Press. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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