The Virtue of Sin
Written by Shannon Schuren
An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2019
Much thanks to Shannon Schuren, Literary Rambles, and Natalie Aguirre for sending me this beautiful copy of The Virtue of Sin.
I don’t know what I expected when I read The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren, but this was not it. I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued to find out this debut YA is a tale of young love but also how that love goes awry in the midst of a secluded group.
Daniel, the group leader and mouth of God, has established New Jerusalem to provide members a safe and untouched by the outside world haven. Strict rules have been set in place regarding social interactions, life careers, even Matrimony.
Miriam is very excited for the Matrimony, as she is certain Caleb will name her as his wife. But when that does not happen and Miriam’s name is called by Aaron, a newcomer, Miriam’s life plan falls apart. And she begins to question and allow her voice to be heard.
There are sooo many unexpected twists in The Virtue of Sin. I really want to name a few, but I’m going to let you discover them on your own. Two thumbs up.
What I loved about this book:
~ The characters were rich! Mystery, emotions, hidden agendas, evil motivations, forbidden love.
~ I enjoyed Shannon’s portrayal of the group, leadership control, and member dynamics. Ok, not enjoyed, as I so wanted to speak out to Miriam and other characters. But I was totally engaged in the problems of the day.
~ The setting. Great descriptions that made me feel like I was right there in the book.
~ The plot line was fascinating. Like I mentioned above, so many unexpected twists. As I was reading, my side brain was constantly exploring the whats and whys and possible nexts. Loved it!
~ Great writing!
A compelling novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free — perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Tara Westover’s Educated.
Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she’s thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together.
But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs.
Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn–and challenge–the truth behind the only way of life she’s ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness.
A compelling debut novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.