23 May 2018
Watts, Julia. Quiver. Frontlist, 2018.
Libby is the oldest of her family's six children. They live on a remote farm where their mother home schools the children and their father works at his pest control business. They are a Quiverfull family, and thus they believe that the father is the head of the home just as god is the head of the church. Zo just moved next door to Libby. Zo's family is also home schooled, but Zo is genderfluid and her (when pronouns are used for Zo, they are always feminine, so I will continue that practice here) family is vegetarian, feminist, and socialist. Zo's father and mother share equally in parenting duties, neither one promising to "obey" the other one. When Zo and Libby meet, they become fast friends because they are close in age and there's no one else around for miles. But will they be able to overcome their differences and continue their friendship?
Having been raised in a family eerily similar to Libby's and now living much more like Zo, this book was absolutely right up my alley. I appreciated the way the author dealt with Libby's family's beliefs without ridiculing or belittling them. The descriptions of the way the fundamentalist family functioned - from the purity vows of the children to spanking Libby when she disobeyed - definitely rang true. Zo's family also seemed genuine and accurate. I was a bit disappointed that Zo's gender fluidity wasn't given more focus, but this wasn't a story of Zo coming out as gender fluid, and Zo didn't seem to be bothered with people reading her as female. The ending seemed a bit rushed, and while I was glad it was a happy ending, it seemed to be a bit too neatly tied up in a bow to be reality. If this is a stand-alone novel, though, and not the first in a series, it was good to give some closure to the readers. Highly recommended.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: Libby's younger sister has some rather "biblical" terms to use in regards to Zo's admission of a past relationship with a girl. Libby's father spanks her with his belt (and requires her to lift her nightgown for this beating). He also storms into the hospital and threatens violence toward several characters.
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu; Evolution, Me, & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Edelweiss for the purpose of review.