TITLE: A Child of Serenity
GENRE: YA Contemporary
LOGLINE: When the leader of the Serenity’s Children cult forces 16-year-old Miriam into marriage with a stranger, she will have to choose between fighting for the only boy she’s ever loved and following the rules of the only life she’s ever known.
The girls don’t get a choice. It has been this way for as long as I’ve been alive, and longer. My father chose my mother, a fact he has never let her forget.
I don’t know how the other girls feel about the Selection. It is not something we talk about. As female Children of Serenity, there is not much that we are allowed to talk about. This bothers me more than it should, considering it has been my experience that no one ever says what they really mean.
And there is no way to know how the boys feel about it either. Since adolescence we have been kept separate, except for Sundays at chapel. And of course there is no speaking at chapel. That is a rule that even I have never broken.
The Selection is our biggest celebration all year. It goes on for days, out in the open desert, beyond the concrete walls of our city. There is singing, and dancing, and feasting. The stars decorate the sky like thousands of candles, and the smoke from our fires climbs into the vast darkness like an offering to God.
I can feel Boaz’s gaze on me. He is standing on the other side of the fire—the boy’s side. His eyes are bright in the firelight, his skin a dark bronze against the white of his shirt. And I dare to hope that maybe, just maybe, tonight he will call my name.