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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Lost in The Ark by Val Agnew is a powerful coming-of-age story that explores family, faith, religion, and independence. Kate Bennett and her sisters learned three things from their mother: how to cook, how to clean a house, and most importantly, to leave her the hell alone. But when her mother succumbs to a blood clot in her brain, Kate remembers a pastor’s voice reverberating in her head: Trust God to smash obstacles. Kate had been dreaming of joining a religious organization called The Ark. Now that her mother is no longer around to forbid her from joining what she believed is a cult, there’s no stopping Kate from what she thinks is the fulfillment of her dream and her escape from her dysfunctional family. Within the confines of The Ark, Kate experiences the opposite of what she has always perceived the organization to be.
Lost in The Ark is a tale that may become widely shared much like Go Ask Alice. It serves as a reality check for young readers as to what happens when they fall short of managing their independence. Similarly, it teaches everyone to exercise critical thinking when it comes to charismatic leaders and the institutions they represent. There’s often something fishy about the business of salvation, the people who sell it, and why many of us are drawn to it. Val Agnew presents a strong narrative in short chapters that sustain your interest in the plot and keep you turning pages. It doesn’t take too long before you understand the aesthetic, moral, and pedagogic value of the storyline. It’s easy to remember The Ark’s stance on homosexuality is based on their literal interpretation of Scripture, one that begins to push Kate into doubt. This read is engrossing and it’s worth your time.