Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
Published: 21st April 2016
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Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
This book completely took me by surprise! When I first started reading this book, honestly speaking, it felt quite weird and Castley and her family definitely seemed different from the other characters in town but the more and more I read of this book the more I really liked Castley as a person and realising that she had been brought up in a way that she had to believe what her father believed and go with whatever he said otherwise she would either get beaten up or send to 'God's Chamber' which is like a cave that the father locks them in when they have gone something wrong for 'reflection' in which they can stay there for days without any food or water. The father has the believe that him and his family were here on Earth temporarily until they found their place at home in heaven. When reading that I immediately thought the word 'cult'. This family was cult that was led by the father and the children, being brought up in that world, didn't really know any better.
What I loved the most about this book was the children and how they progress (or not progress depending on the character). Because the authorities were keeping a close eye, the children have to go to school in the main town with the rest of the children and Castley, in particular, realises that their way of life in the woods where they live maybe is not right.
For me, this was a very emotional story that I was truly engrossed in until the very last page. I actually loved this one so much I read it in one sitting! Such a great book that you should all definitely pick up and give a try...