The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren
English | 2019 | General Fiction/Classics | ePUB |589 Kb
The Virtue : Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she’s thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together.
But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs.
Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn–and challenge–the truth behind the only way of life she’s ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness.
“Her eyes widen, and she drops the knife to grip my hands. “Who told you this?”
“No one.” I shake loose. “I told you, I dreamt it.”
Her face relaxes into a smile, and she presses her forehead to mine. “I knew it,” she whispers. “I knew you had a gift. He’ll be so proud.”
Her declaration sends a thrill through me that’s almost as good as a gust of cool air. As the reincarnation of the Prophet, our Leader has always been the one to interpret the messages we receive from the Lord in our dreams. But I’d always secretly hoped that one day, God might choose to communicate with me directly. “Who will be proud? Father? Or Daniel?”
“Yes. Both. They both will.” My mother wipes her hands on her apron, moves the clasp on her crucifix to the back of her neck, and adjusts her head scarf, checking for loose hairs with a practiced finger. There aren’t any, of course.
“Did you love him?” I ask.
Her hands still. Her face changes. “Who are you talking about?”
I’ve spent years studying her every expression. She’s taught me to interpret the faintest sign of displeasure, but I don’t need any lessons to read the annoyance in her face.
“Father must have loved you,” I say. “Because he chose you. But on that night, did you know—”
She presses her lips together. “Stop. Do you want to risk a Shaming?”