Expected publication: October 8th 2019 by Wednesday Books
From Goodreads Synopsis:
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.
This book captured my attention from the first page and it kept with me once I was finished. It is not often that I continue to think and reflect on what I have just read.
I think what stuck out to me the most was – that amidst this terrible situation and society, through all the trials that these girls go through – there was this sliver of hope laced throughout. A red flower on a backdrop of darkness. You are left feeling like MAYBE – just MAYBE things can change and it can start with one person – one group – one idea.
The girls in this village are raised to believe that they possess a “magic” that makes men unaccountable for their actions. They are taught that the things that happen to them and around them are their fault – that is it the magic that they possess that causes the men to act the way they do. When you no longer have value to your family or husband all it takes is a word and they are able to execute you or send you outside the walls to the wilderness. It is a bleak existence and one that is ripe for change.
This book is quite graphic in content and I would suggest it for older teens and adults.