"Tribe of Daughters" by Kate L Mary
For the past seventy years, deep in the mountains and totally secluded from civilization, a matriarchal society has thrived. In this small village there are no brothers, no fathers, no sons. In this village men exist only to serve the women, and boys have no mothers. In this village men do as they are told and defiance is severely punished.
This is the only Life Wilderness has ever known, but when Jameson is brought in from the outside to be her husband, everything she thought she knew about strength and love is tested. As they struggle to find their place in the village, they suddenly find themselves face to face with outsiders who threaten to destroy everything they love, and it doesn’t take long to realize that they will have to work together, men and women alike, if they want to survive.
This book was REALLY good! The characters were interesting, the plot was unique, and the scene-setting was beautiful. I've never read anything by this author before, and I often find dystopians to be a bit cookie-cutter lately, “Tribe of Daughters” was well worth the time.
While the characters in this story weren’t super complex or deeply developed, they were compelling in their own ways. Wilderness and Jameson came from incredibly different backgrounds, and the inherent differences from such upbringings wee painfully at odds sometimes, but the two came together when it counted. Neither was so stubborn-because-the-plot-needs-length-and-conflict that they couldn’t learn, adapt, and give a little to understand one another. The reader is constantly in the head of either Jameson or Wilderness and seeing the world through their eyes, hearing their thoughts, and feeling what they felt added distinct color and flavor to the narrative. Watching them learn to accept and understand each other while falling in love in the process was actually kinda beautiful. The secondary characters—especially Zachariah and Raven—provided just enough background and contrast to make Jameson and Wilderness pop.
Ms. Kate did a fabulous job of drawing the reader into her world from page one. The tension was ever-present, and from page one, there was very little lag or slump in the pacing—not even during the portions where things appear relatively calm or even uneventful. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting the catalyst for change/turning point to be who/what it was. The fact that (at least to me) a fairly minor character whom I frequently forgot about was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ was a refreshing surprise. I honestly expected an earlier incident (a foundling running away) to be what came back to bite everyone in the end.
My only issue with “Tribe of Daughters” is the editing. I found a lot of missing words (usually articles) that I feel another read-through by the author or editor would have polished out. Did I receive an ARC? Probably, but I still don’t find that to be any excuse for sloppiness. I’m knocking off a star for the sheer frequency with which the typos occurred, especially in the middle of the story.
Bottom line: I will definitely be looking for more by Ms. Kate! “Tribe of Daughters” was something wonderfully unique in a genre that has become very…standardized. If you’re a fan of dystopian stories with a little romance thrown in for good measure, I highly recommend this one.