I was very moved by it. It sirred up so much frustration with the cult and I was just disgusted that such things passed as adult behavior, the level of ignorance just blew my mind. In fact I can't even think "Utah" without it sounding like a dirty word in my head right now. Polygamy is so filthy and vile, HOW could anyone live like that and think it was what God required of them on pain of salvation? Sick.
I think the thing that really got me was the interpersonal neglect between family members. The favoritism and praise shown the boy and the older girl, Karen singled out as the devil's child yet shouldered with childcare for her younger siblings and the brute labor around the home...parents completely uninterested in the children they kept breeding one after another.
That's way too close to my own experience so I really felt my own lingering resentment. It was a very powerful story.
To me it reflected so much reality, so many patterns that are true, both of mormonism and of poverty and dysfunctional families---all of which are described powerfully in this book, besides the polygamy aspect of this book.
Someone who had not experienced this kind of thing might think this book sounded like science fiction sounds---creepy (it is)---and hard to imagine. To someone who has tasted even a bit of the reality of the lives described, it's still creepy, and you are fighting with the kids in the story to be liberated, to be free to be themselves!!!!