The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly || A Contemporary Retelling


Title: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Author: Stephanie Oakes

Format / Length: Paperback / 352 Pages

Publisher / Date Published: HarperCollins Publishers Australia

Category / Genre: Young Adult / Fairytale Retelling, Contemporary

Source: Sent from the published in exchange for an honest review


Description: The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, and her ability to trust.

And when Minnow rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now the Kevinian Prophet has been murdered and the camp set aflame and it’s clear Minnow knows something. But she’s not talking. As she adjusts to a life behind bars in juvenile detention, Minnow struggles to make sense of all she has been taught to believe, particularly as she dwells on the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of; if she is willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

Powerful and compelling. this remarkable and brave debut novel reveals the terrible dangers of blind faith. And the importance of having faith in yourself.

DSC_0665There are some books you’re expecting to like, yes, but when they ABSOLUTELY BLOW YOU AWAY, it’s fantastic.

I have to say I hadn’t heard much in the way of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly until Harper Collins Australia began Tweeting their intense love for the book, and even then I was a liiiiiiitle hesitant.

To clarify, Minnow Bly IS a fairytale retelling (The Maiden Without Hands, written by the Grimm Brothers), but it’s completely realistic/contemporary.

BUT HANG ON, you’re thinking. HOW DOES THAT WORK?DSC_0679

  • The novel here is set in prison. Which, hey, is pretty cool, because how many books that I’ve read have been set in prison?
  • Our main character has no hands, and this is unique in itself; it was interesting to see how she coped with a) loosing her hands the way she did, and b) doing day-to-day actives without them.
  • There’s a very cultish element to it. Which, like the prison setting, isn’t something I’ve read about it — the closest I’ve watched to that, would be the slight cultish element to Orphan Black (Not watching this show? You totally should be.)
  • DSC_0678The writing is deliciously EASY to read.
  • This was a oh-I’ll-just-read-ONE-more-chapter kinda book. (Ha ha. That NEVER ends well the next day…)

In short, Minnow Bly was a true gem of a story. I loved pretty much everything about this book, and you will too, if:

  • You like fast-paced novels with intriguing characters
  • You like fairytale retellings… with a contemporary/realistic twistDSC_0666
  • You want to be hooked from the first page to the last

Have I convinced you yet!? Also, how do you feel about novels set in prison? Are you a fan of them?

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16 thoughts on “The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly || A Contemporary Retelling

  1. YESSSS COMPLETELY AGREE. At the end of last year I obsessively looked at the Goodreads lists of books coming out this year, so I was already excited for Minnow Bly, but I didn’t know HOW good it was going to be (because let’s face it, some of the books I get excited for end up to be terrible, sadly). SO I’M REALLY GLAD EVERYONE ELSE IS LOVING IT :)

  2. This one looks really interesting! I haven’t heard much about it either. I’m intrigued because I’ve never read anything set in prison before. But I love retellings or books based off fairytales so maybe I should check this one out.
    Great review and i’m glad you enjoyed it!
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages

  3. I had no idea this book was a retelling of any kind! Not that I’ve ever heard of The Maiden Without Hands, to be honest though. I quite enjoyed this book too! Definitely a page turner

  4. This sounds right up my alley Kara. I love the idea of a book set in prison – I think that would be such a great idea. It sounds like the setting might be able to let us look into the character’s minds from a psychological standpoint in a way some settings might not have been able to, and I can’t wait for that. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

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