No longer content to stay sequestered in the family's remote fortress preparing for the Armageddon, she secretly enrolls in school and develops a longing for knowledge. And the more she learns, the more she realizes the limitations of her parents and the way that their paranoia is killing themselves and her.
A grim story of a wildly abusive family. I'm not a big fan of child endangerment, but I am inevitably sucked in by stories like this. For as unpleasant as the setting is, I long for watching the child rise above their situation. Lark doesn't disappoint. She has a lot of handicaps, but her survivalist parents got one thing right: making her intensely curious and fiercely independent. So, for every time I cringed at her Dad's stupidity and her Mom's cowardice, I could still cheer at Lark's tenaciousness. That's small comfort in a story that will just depress you and leave you wondering how many Larks there are out there and what happens to the ones who lack Lark's survival skills?