Young Adult Literature
Carol Lynch Williams
The Chosen One
“If I was going to kill the prophet,” I say, not even keeping my voice low, “I’d do it in Africa.”
This startling and powerful first line from The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams presents one of the most compelling openings in literature and introduces us to Kyra Carlson, the fifth child in her father’s modern-day polygamist family of 21 children and three wives. The Chosen One is set in a modern fundamentalist compound, a nightmare prison world where a corrupt theocracy intimidates members of its faith by railing against Gentiles and the outside world and by cleansing the impure out of its midst. Kyra’s mothers and father, like all faithful members of the Compound, say nothing in spite of their growing uneasiness with their religious leaders, and so Kyra is left helpless and alone to face her destiny as her sixty-year-old uncle’s newest wife.
Williams’ distinct southern voice creates art from an old story—the story of struggle in the face of evil and the inevitable sacrifice required of young women like Kyra who know who they are and, in spite of their fears, choose to fight through oppression toward freedom rather than absorb into shadow as someone’s seventh wife. And Williams’ heart is in every word of this book. Every. Single. Word. For achievement in the field of young adult fiction, the Association for Mormon Letters is proud to present an award to Carol Lynch Williams for The Chosen One.