The Book of David

Kate L.

Willow Sands is trapped. Imprisoned in a commune and destined to marry in mere weeks. Once she turns eighteen, she will be mercilessly handed over to Father David’s only son and heir.  However, faced with becoming the future ‘mother’ to Father David’s ‘children,’ de facto first lady to nearly 300 true believers, Willow has found one ally. And maybe freedom, hope’s elusive dream, will finally be realized.  But in order to escape the abuse and betrayal, Willow will have to surrender and trust the one emotion she has never let herself enjoy, love.

“The Book of David,” is a first person look into the life of one young woman’s struggle against violence, misogyny, inequality, and the torturous nature of mental and physical abuse at the hands of those who are supposed to love and protect her. Ms. Mary’s characters exude the heart-breaking lethargy associated with years of brain-washing and herd mentality; however, several characters’ reactions after suffering such severe abuse and attempted assault were simply unbelievable, making acceptance of the outcomes hard to embrace. Her flashbacks do not complete the ‘back story’ sufficiently to offer cohesion and allow the reader to become truly invested in the present. Also, the supporting characters could have used a bit more depth to help the reader empathize them. Still, the romance between the protagonists is sweet and allows for some hope. 


Overall, however, this story is an enlightening and sometimes tragic read. Ms. Mary's heroine of Willow, shows a young woman of incredible fortitude,  who can stand as an emblematic role-model for women of all ages today.


Kimberly Gunvaldson