Two girls sit in the backseat of a car, tied at the wrist. They are teen sisters, Amity and Sorrow. They share the memory of screaming and fire, and the longing to return home, as their mother drives them away from everything the girls have ever known. Later, at a farm abutting an abandoned service station, the three seek help from a farmer who lives there with his elderly father and a boy named Dust. All this just in the first ten pages!
We soon learn that Amaranth, the girls' mother, is the first of fifty wives and has been living in a religious community off the grid in the panhandle of Idaho. The community, headed by a charismatic patriarch preacher, Zachariah, has spent the past decade and a half preparing for the end of the world. Amaranth, who had been lost, homeless and an alcoholic at age seventeen, was "saved" by and married to Zachariah, at nineteen. Having only been...
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