cover image Down from the Mountain

Down from the Mountain

Elizabeth Fixmer. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8075-8370-8

All Eva has known since age five is the world of the Righteous Path and the word of Reverend Ezekiel. When Eva’s mother took her away from her father and her home in Chicago to join the itinerant congregation, neither anticipated the way their bond with each other would be severed, the brutal punishments they would face, or the reverend’s intention to marry Eva. Now nearly 15, Eva learns she must leave school to sell her jewelry to outsiders or the Righteous Path will starve. Fixmer (Saint Training) draws on her experience counseling former religious cult members to create believable and detailed accounts of Eva’s encounters with the “heathen” world. When Eva meets college student Trevor, his curiosity about her beliefs sparks her own questions. Eva faces difficult choices when the Reverend begins buying guns, one member flees, and her mother’s pregnancy complications turn dire. Fixmer’s references to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books persuasively contrast the image of a loving god against the harshness of Reverend Ezekiel in this absorbing and smartly paced novel. Ages 13–up. Agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. (Mar.)