A Sworn Virgin
Diana has never felt constrained by the strict traditions that bind people in her mountain town. Her free-thinking father always encouraged her to be herself, to pursue art and never be afraid to speak her mind. But when her father’s past catches up with him, Diana is suddenly left to navigate life on her own, and she suddenly finds herself facing all the restrictions of being a woman that had never seemed to affect her before. Diana feels her only option is to become a sworn virgin, which gives her the freedom and social powers of a man, as well as the ability to escape the marriage her stepmother tried to sell her into. Then, a mysterious man comes into her life, and Diana feels the urge to break her vows, no matter how much it might shame her family.
Readers will venture into the strange world of early twentieth century Albania with A Sworn Virgin: Broken Promises. Author Kristopher Dukes quickly draws readers in with the fascinating story of Diana, a young woman who finds herself changed time and again by life’s circumstances. The mountain town where Diana lives has traditions and gender divides that modern readers may have a hard time wrapping their heads around; it’s hard to believe that the culture Dukes describes was ever real, but the amount of research she put into this book definitely shines through. Some readers may be frustrated by Diana’s character, which starts so strong, but later acts so foolishly over Andri. Some parts of this book move very fast, such as Diana’s revenge for the death of her father or the sudden arrival of her arranged marriage, while other parts meander along, such as her time spent hiding in Andri’s house. The story remains fascinating throughout; readers will definitely find it difficult to put this novel down.
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