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By Naomi Rich

At fourteen, Alis hasn't ever been outdoor her strict non secular neighborhood. but if her mom and dad manage for her to marry a forty-year-old guy, she flees desperately to the harmful, strange urban. She learns speedy that the single solution to live to tell the tale there's to develop into a thief—or worse. dealing with an very unlikely selection among a compelled marriage or lifestyles at the streets, Alis seizes regulate of her personal destiny. however the direction she chooses units off a disastrous chain of occasions that depart her accused of homicide. Steadfastly unswerving, Alis needs to come to a decision: will she betray a friend or sacrifice herself?

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Holding back tears of fright, she said furiously, “But I am not a good child. I am not a child at all if I am to marry the Minister. ” Hannah went very still, and in the silence Alis could hear her own heart thudding. For a long moment, nothing happened. At last her mother said harshly, “You are a willful, disobedient girl. Now go to your bed. ” In her tiny room under the eaves, Alis lay sleepless, full of terror. Who could she turn to if her own mother was against her? She could not marry the Minister!

It is a sign, my grandmother says, of what is to come. My grandfather is the Minister but his power is gone. And though the people love him, they are afraid. The Elders are determined to see that people keep to the rules of the Book more strictly. They come into the houses to inspect and investigate. They question the children. ” Alis was puzzled. “But the Elders have always had such powers, have they not? ” He nodded. “And what if the person questioned wishes for witnesses? ” For the Book said: There is no justice behind a closed door.

She was to be his wife, was she not? And perhaps he would turn out to be like this man who sat before her with his jeering look, while his wife stifled her sobs in the corner. But she would not marry Galin. By the Maker’s good grace she had escaped this far. Surely she would make it to the city. She hoped her blushing would not prompt Thomas to question her further on the subject of marriage; she was not used to lying. Fortunately, he was turning his attention to more immediate matters. “Go, Sarah, and see that Lilith is preparing the supper.

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