The Family by Marissa Kennerson
Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital
Release Date: October 8th 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Cult
Rate: 4 STARS
Synopsis: Just like any average seventeen year old, Twig loves her family. She has a caring mother and a controlling father. Her brothers are sisters are committed to her family’s prosperity…
All one hundred and eighty three of them.
Twig lives in the Family, a collective society located in the rainforest of Costa Rica. The Family members coexist with the values of complete openness and honesty, and a shared fear of contagious infection in the outside world.
So when Adam, their Father, prophet, and savior, announces that Twig will be his new bride, she is overjoyed and honored. But when an injury forces her to leave the grounds, Twig finds that the world outside is not necessarily as toxic as she was made to believe. When she meets Leo, an American boy with a killer smile, she begins to question everything about her life within the Family, and the cult to which she belongs.
But when it comes to your Family, you don’t always get a choice.
Books about cults – or alternate living methods – have always fascinated me, simply because of the fact that there are these groups of people that believe different things, in general, from the rest of the world that doesn’t live with them, and the Family was no exception.
So, how do you judge a good ‘alternate living method’ book? After reading Astray and a few others, the top on my list of my criteria is this – is it all believable? And while I couldn’t say yes entirely to The Family, it was still a pretty good book.
The entire idea based on which the Family lived wasn’t actually rock solid – I mean which self-respecting adult would believe that there was an actual literal disease strain out there that affected you with corruption and other diseases – especially after having lived out there in the ‘infected’ world. I suppose one might consider it morally transmittable, but that isn’t the case. Twig, our protagonist, thinks that all these things that are amoral about the world we live in, can be caught through an actual viral strain like the common cold – and that sort of brought down the illusion of the Family she lived in for me.
Other than that, Kennerson portrayed the whole aspect of living in a Family quite brilliantly. Since the concept was simply living together in harmony, without influences from the outside world, or technology for that matter, I definitely felt like that. I felt the disgust and horror that Kennerson wanted the reader to feel as Twig got chosen to become the bride to a man who could have been her father – that she even called father. I felt it all as she ventured out there for the first time, and even realized that there was more to living than what she was doing! And Leo! Oh, sweet, caring not-nosey Leo – what a fun book.
Don’t get me wrong, The Family isn’t a perfect book – there were a few more flaws other than just the questionable teachings, like Twig’s mother, but it’s still one I would recommend!
Follow the The Family by Marissa Kennerson Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.
Marissa Kennerson received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Before earning her master’s degree in psychology and art therapy, she worked for Wired and Glamour. She lives in California with her family. The Family is her first novel (Full Fathom Five Digital) and will be coming out October 2014.