The women of a small town serve as a chorus of narrators in Wisdom’s eerie and powerful debut ... The depth in this book comes from Alice’s shifting motivations and Wesley’s waxing and waning control over the women. Despite a jarring scene depicting violence toward a dog, the hypnotic storytelling and exploration of Alice’s character—and the character of Alice’s entire town—will draw readers in.
An all-American golden girl runs away from her small town to join a cult in Wisdom’s dreamy debut ... Propulsive and haunting, if psychologically thin, the novel is a fever dream of familiar tropes: the idyllic suburb, the chosen girl, the allure of escape, the cult, the undercurrent of violence. The novel doesn’t seem to offer any particular insight into these things—it proceeds about how you’d expect—but Wisdom hits each note with perfect precision.
In Wisdom’s captivating if slight debut, a suburban high school girl joins an antiestablishment cult ... While the unresolved ending and nondescript setting add little to the familiar Manson-esque motif, Wisdom does a good job differentiating the personalities of the women in Wesley’s orbit, as well as the mothers left behind. Fans of cult stories will appreciate this.