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Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite
Sinful Purity by K. A. Standen, is a coming-of-age story of a young girl, Mary Elizabeth (Liz), who was orphaned at the age of four and placed under the care of Mary Immaculate Queen Orphanage. Not having remembered anything of her life before the age of four, her identity was wrapped up within the walls of the “prison” of the orphanage and the nearby St. Matthew’s church. Along with a friend, Kelly, they begin to dream of a life outside the walls and iron gate. Kelly’s brother Bart even helps feed Liz's dream by sneaking “unauthorized” reading material to her. When Liz finally escapes the iron gate of MIQ to go to college, she is still shackled by its spiritual bonds. With the help of two good friends, Caleb and Lucy, and the unfailing love of Zack, the love of her life, she begins to see what life outside the physical and spiritual constraints of MIQ and St. Matthew's is really like. She has to fight not only the forces of the institution, but her own inner demons in order to hold onto her new found freedom as she grows to discover her true identity.
In Sinful Purity, K. A. Standen expertly contrasts the issues of bondage and freedom on two different levels: the institutional and the inner spiritual. It is a story filled with deep inner tension as Liz works her way out of the darkness of hidden childhood and into the light of freedom. The plot is thoughtful and well-developed and the reader will feel the inner conflict and tension that grips Liz. It is almost impossible to put this book down as the reader pursues each of the suspenseful twists and turns which Liz faces as she unravels the identity that lies beneath. This is a thought provoking masterpiece which will serve the reader well as it questions the deeper truths of bondage and freedom. An honest book. Highly recommended reading.