WHERE THE TRUTH LIES by Lucy Cullyford Babbitt

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A sobering allegory that explores the destructive power of bigotry. Kyra, 17, lives in Sanctuary, a sterile urban fortress governed on rational principles. ``Outside'' are the self- righteous ``Godslanders,'' dogmatic conservatives whose every move is ruled by their monotheism--and whose ideal of purity has a corollary of guilt; and the ``Four Tribes,'' whose reverence for the earth is coupled with passionate belief in their several gods. Fueled by mutual intolerance, the Outsiders' bitter religious wars are unceasing, while the residents of Sanctuary, abhorring both groups, proclaim their atheism. In hopes of ending the strife, it's arranged that Kyra--with Eli, a feisty boy from the Tribes, and the virginal Godslander Lillen--will journey to a sacred cave that each group believes contains the truth about its god, or gods: If they perceive, together, the same thing, it will resolve the conflict forever. Most of the book concerns Kyra's view of their journey, during which she learns how vicious, but also kind, the Godslanders can be and moves from armed truce to close if uneasy friendship with Eli. That Eli and Lillen, in the grim denouement, find only what they expect in the cave leads inevitably to tragedy; but Kyra has an unexpected vision and returns to Sanctuary with the courage to confront her father with his own bigotry. Characters and setting aren't as well developed as the ideas are here; still, a well-written novel that explores the intransigence of rigid doctrine with thought-provoking subtlety. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-531-05473-X
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1993