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Chosen [Kindle Edition]

Lesley Glaister
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The last time Dodie sees her mother alive, Stella is unusually busy, tattily splendid in an old red velvet dress. Soon after this, Dodie's brother Seth goes missing: the only trace of him is through postcards signed 'Yours in the Lord' addresses from the Soul Life Centre, New York state.

When Stella hangs herself, Dodie must leave her baby Jake at home and cross the Atlantic to bring Seth beck from the mysterious Soul Life Centre. But when she arrives, Seth is always one day away from seeing her. She becomes drawn - not always willingly - into the Brothers and Sisters' communal living, meditation, fasting and chanting. Until baby Jake unexpectedly arrives at Soul Life and events take a shocking turn for Dodie.

In a parallel narrative, Stella's sister Melanie tells the story of their teenage years in the 1970s and their shared affair with Bogart, a messianic hippy with shrewd ambition. These two compelling stories collide in a series of shocking revelations and an exhilarating conclusion. Heartfelt and frightening, Chosen is Lesley Glaister at the top of her game.

Product Description


A stunning take on religious cults --Sophie Hannah

A relentlessly inventive, sharp and intelligent thriller --Daily Mirror

Frightening yet eerily beautiful, her novels are fresh, inventive and deeply-felt --Hilary Mantel

A natural storyteller who knows how to keep the reader turning the pages --Independent

Great on the way that even people who style themselves as strong and sceptical can, when they're vulnerable and the right buttons are pushed, yield to arch manipulations. Glaister is an agile, attentive writer who deserves to be read --Guardian

Book Description

The chilling rise of a religious cult intertwined with the secret history of a family

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 475 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tindal Street; Reprint edition (2 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,759 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Chosen is the story of Dodie and her family during difficult and unusual times. Dodie's mother behaves strangely and her brother Seth goes missing. Dodie travels to New York State in search of Seth and finds herself staying at the Soul-Life Centre, a strange cult with unusual beliefs.

Chosen is arranged into two main sections and one final smaller section: the first part is Dodie's story set in the present day, the second begins in the 1970s when Dodie's mother is a child and progresses into the present day, the final part is in the present day and is the conclusion of the story. The story being told from two different perspectives works really well: the tension builds steadily and I really enjoyed the unravelling and revealing nature of the plot.

Glaister's characters are always well detailed this book is no exception. It's not quite as intense as some of her other books (such as "As Far as You Can Go") but it's a slightly different style and the relationships and connections between the characters make for a different feel and different situation.

This was a gripping tale, the third excellent book that I've read by Lesley Glaister. If you've not read any of Glaister's books but enjoy the psychological thriller genre I would highly recommend that you give her a go. Her stories are not typical or predictable and they are very readable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a picture of a happy family! 22 Jun. 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
After Dodie finds her mother dead from suicide she seeks out her younger brother but is told he has gone to America to stay with relatives. As Dodie is unaware of any relatives she sets out to find him. She is led to a religious community in New York State but instead of finding Seth and bringing him home she is gradually drawn into the cult by a mixture of curiosity, persuasion and mind-altering drugs. This is possibly the best part of the book - very effectively written - as we feel Dodie being drawn more and more into a dangerous situation.

The second part of the book is written by Dodie's aunt Melanie who is a long term resident of the Soul-Life Community. She is in complete thrall to the leader Adam and again and again finds herself being persuaded to make wrong choices against her better judgement. However I was not convinced by why anyone would really respond to Adam. He was rather a laughable and pathetic character but only Stella (seriously depressed and possibly mentally ill) sees through him. Though, having said that, I suppose most cults are filled with vulnerable or damaged people just waiting to be told "the truth".

The writer evokes the atmosphere of a cult community brilliantly and it is a compelling read. But if you would like a story about happy family life this is not for you!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nail-biting and satisfying treat of a novel 3 Jun. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As soon as I finished this book I turned to the first page and starting reading the first half again.

This is not because of the characters, although they are heart-breaking and vividly realised (as well as somes hilarious); this is not because of the topic, although the religious cult it depicts and its repercussions are believable, terrifying and memorable. It is because of the structural make-up of the book which I found delightful and approaching genius.

We are told, in the first half, the story of Dodie and how she gets caught up in a 'soul-life community'. While I was reading this I enjoyed it thoroughly but found some of the plot a bit far-fetched. However, the narrative switches in the second half to the story of Melanie, some thirty or forty years previous. This is where it becomes an electrifying read. The memory of Dodie's story becomes enriched by the slow series of revelations in Melanie's (I kept having to flick back and see how much I'd missed in Dodie's story) and they combine at the end into a highly exciting and unexpected climax.

This is highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choose This 27 April 2010
By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I found some parts of this book quite an uncomfortable read but not because the writing was bad; in fact quite the opposite. The quality of the prose here is so good that it enables the author to create an authentically claustrophobic atmosphere in the first section of the book.

This section sees the heroine being sucked into a religious cult. The authentic feel is such that this reader experienced the paranoia and uncertainty of the central character.

The second section of the book flashes back to the seventies and explains a lot of the background to the motives of the cult's leaders in the contemporary section.

Choice is a major theme here. What choices do we have? Which should we have? And what happens when we are deprived of choice?

Every aspect of this book works well. The characters are believable and interesting, the plot is intriguing, but most of all the writing is just superb.

This is suspense writing of the highest order. It should appeal to any one who likes quality writing and psychological thrillers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burner that ensnares you 31 July 2011
My attention was tested at first, but I persevered and was rewarded.

An oppressive mundane feeling swamped the first part of Chosen, as Dodie is sucked into the Soul-Life Centre's nefarious ways. It left me with the discomforting feeling, one of being slowly pulled into some murky viscous fluid. This gave the book a heavy and uneasy, grey atmosphere which I slowly waded through.

However, a catapult back in time made the second part of the book a much more enjoyable read. The back story to the Soul-Life Centre's establishment and ethos moved along at a more engaging pace. There was more of a sense of colour and meaningful evens as the story develops through the decades and characters' personalities reveal themselves.

I found myself whipping through the final part (and annoyed at myself for leaving it behind at work just before I got to the end).

The impact of parental absence and loss, was a strong theme for me throughout this book, possibly explaining why people (especially very young people) can be manipulated by charismatic characters and drawn into destructive relationships and in this case, religious cults.

Overall, after a slow start the book does pick up pace with a good story that keeps unfurling and yielding spiky surprises.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Claustrophobic and insidiously nasty
I almost didn't read this much beyond page 40; the claustrophobia and insidious nastiness of the cult was too horrible. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sandra Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars A Disturbing Read, Written with Great Skill
As someone who is a great admirer of Lesley Glaister's work, and who has experienced the disappearance into a cult of a close family member, I was drawn to this book from the... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bryony Doran
2.0 out of 5 stars Chosen
This novel has an original and interesting theme, the modern cult religion and the characters at its heart. Read more
Published 15 months ago by tina price
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a yawn.
Disappointing after her last book.
I found this rather boring and predictable.Well written but just didn't engage my interest at all.Very unusually I didn't finish it.
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Two tales brought together brilliantly
This is an exciting and enjoyable psychological thriller which, though focused around the development of a religious cult, also explores a theme of the choices people make in their... Read more
Published 23 months ago by markr
5.0 out of 5 stars The Chosen Few...
Glaister is a fine writer, and here again she demonstrates her skill when it comes to constructing a taut and emotive narrative, populated by scarily believable characters, and... Read more
Published on 15 Sept. 2012 by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth
2.0 out of 5 stars Chosen
I couldn't get into this book and had to give up on it about half way through. I normally really enjoy psychological thrillers but unfortunately this book get's a thumbs down from... Read more
Published on 16 Mar. 2012 by Nikki
4.0 out of 5 stars Frighteningly real depiction of a religious cult
Dodie's mother Stella has always been depressed and withdrawn. Then Dodie, herself now a mother to young Jake, visits her one day asking after her teenage younger brother Seth, and... Read more
Published on 15 Nov. 2011 by L. H. Healy
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book!
I read this all in one day! Recommended by a friend months ago, I only got round to picking it up at 9am this morning. I have just finished it and all I can really say is 'WOW'. Read more
Published on 16 Aug. 2011 by jane
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard To Like
I have read other Lesley Glaister novels and quite enjoyed them. Can't say the same about this one, I'm afraid. Read more
Published on 17 Jun. 2011 by Crusty
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