Review - Watch How We Walk by Jennifer LoveGrove


                                                                Amazon |Goodreads

An ARC was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.

"Lets watch how we walk, and watch how we talk. That thus we may be alert and wise..."

Watch how we walk is a story about keeping up appearances and how striving to please others can have detrimental effects on our lives.

On the outside the Morrows appear to be a normal family. They are good, upstanding Jehovah's witnesses. They attend services and avoid "worldly" distractions. Just like the other families within the "truth". 

Beneath the calm surface of this family there is turmoil. Emily's father is controlling to the point where his family walk on eggshells around him:

"Emily pauses before she answers, unsure if it's one of her dad's no-talking-at-the-table-nights or not. Those happen, along with no-talking-in-the-car, a couple of times a week after he's had a bad day"

Religion is number one in his life. Everything is said and done with a view to pleasing the elders in the town. Their approval comes before the happiness of his wife and children.

As the story alternates from "before" to "after" we see the effect this faith has on the family. Emily and sister become increasingly smothered by the faith:

" All my energy went into planning my escape: researching universities, filling out forms, creating a budget, getting a summer job. These were things considered normal, even commendable for most teenagers, but for me, it was forbidden."
 Like all teenagers Lenora becomes rebellious. She longs to make her own way in the world, to find her own voice through forbidden music and "worldly" friends.  However this voice is quickly quelled by the hypocritical, cruel elders within the church. 

Emily's love for her sister urges her to show her support for Lenora . Another voice tells her to remain loyal to the faith. She is torn in two and turns to self-mutilation in order to deal with her emotions. 

As the story reaches an end we learn that the choices Emily's  father has made have torn a family apart forever. The empty feeling of Loss outweighs any feeling of fulfilment that "The Truth" could ever bring now.

Watch How We Walk is an emotionally charged page turner. It's a book you will read in very few sitting as you won't want to put it down. Faith can be a tricky subject to tackle but the book is very well written and feels very real. 

The only small criticism I have was that it was a little too short! I would have loved to hear more from Emily's mother (whom I think was adding more than just coffee to her travel mug). I feel like she may have a story of her own to tell? 


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