Book Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Published By: HarperCollins Australia - Dial (US)
Publication Date: July 1, 2015 (Australia) -  June 9, 2015 (US)
Page Count: 400
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Australian Publisher
Young Adult 

Seventeen year old Minnow has escaped from the Kevinian cult where she spent most of her life, and now she’s headed to a juvenile detention centre. The book follows Minnow as she begins to learn about the real world and work through the events that led to the fall of the cult and her stint in detention. 

 Minnow is an extraordinary character. She has had her hands taken from her in the most horrific of ways, has seen people she loves brutalized and has gone from one form of incarceration to another, but she still has a fiery spirit and a fierce curiosity about the world. 

I loved Minnow and her unbreakable spirit. I loved Angel, her cell mate, who manages to have hope despite her hopeless circumstances. 

 Everything about this book was fascinating – life in the cult, how the cult started, how it ended, what happened to the members, how Minnow came to be arrested, how and why she lost her hands, what happened to the boy she loved, and what will happen at her parole hearing. 

 I’m loathe to give much more in the way of detail, because I think the less you know about this book the better, but it deals with love, loss, violence, the danger and beauty of faith, friendship, loyalty, and so many other themes. Ultimately this is a book about the human condition and it’s beautifully told. 

This is one of my favourite books of the year so far. It’s beautiful, tragic, uplifting. It’s a must read.

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, and her ability to trust.

And when Minnow rebelled, they took away her hands, too. 

Now the Kevinian Prophet has been murdered and the camp set aflame and it's clear Minnow knows something. But she's not talking. As she adjusts to a life behind bars in juvenile detention, Minnow struggles to make sense of all she has been taught to believe, particularly as she dwells on the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of; if she is willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past. 

Powerful and compelling. this remarkable and brave debut novel reveals the terrible dangers of blind faith. And the importance of having faith in yourself. 


  1. I'm glad to see that you really enjoyed this one! I've been seeing it around a bit and I may just have to buy a copy. It sounds pretty good. Great review!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  2. Oh how I want to read this book! This looks like SUCH a lovely book. Thanks for sharing :D
    Jackie @ No Bent Spines

  3. Fantastic review. Sounds like a great cult thriller! Adding to my GR!

  4. I'm so glad you loved this book! It looks so interesting!

  5. Her hands? They took away HER HANDS? I'm already freaked out.

  6. Sounds intense! I'd like to find out how she reconciles everything.

  7. I don't think I've ever actually read a book with a cult, which is weird now that I think about it but I guess it's never too late to read one and this one sounds like a good start.


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