Note: I received a free copy of The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Cresswell Plot is about the Cresswell family. The Cresswells, six children and the two parents, live in the middle of the woods in a run down house. Their clothes are plain, they aren’t supposed to use technology, the girls can’t let their hair out of their braids, and, according to their father, they are supposed to marry one another in Heaven. They are the last pure family and must stay that way.
It isn’t until an accident happens (years before the book starts) that they kids end up being sent to school where they find out that their father’s plans aren’t what other people would say are normal. And things get even worse around the house. The punishments get harsher. The food is running out. The water heater stops working. And Castella (Castley), the narrator, starts to rebel more and more.
Through the course of the book we see each of the kids struggle with their family. They want to believe in their father but they also want things for themselves, things they know their father would not agree with and it makes them question their world view. But it’s Castley that goes out of her way to figure out what’s wrong with her family and to try to set it right.
And then their father announces that it’s time for the Cresswell’s to return to Heaven and Castley knows she’s almost run out of time. The scene where it all comes to a head is full of revelations and surprises and it’s just so emotional.
Now I would like to point out one flaw. Castley mentions that, thanks to their father’s punishments, they often miss school and show up with bruises. One of the siblings refuses to talk. How is it that none of the teachers have made a complaint to social services? Especially since I’m sure when the kids were young they would have said something along the lines of “oh, daddy says I’m supposed to marry my brother.”
But anyways…although The Cresswell Plot has some icky moments (like when Castley can’t help but think about her brother, her intended husband, in “that” way sometimes) it’s understandable. The family has been brought up in a cult-like manner and have been forced to believe certain things and I can only imagine how hard it would be to change those points of view.
This book is interesting and emotional and a quick read. All in all I did enjoy this book.