Arc Review – Agnes at the end of the world by Kelly McWilliams

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February 7, 2020 by ceresbooksworld


Agnes at the end of the world by Kelly McWiliams


Publisher : Little, Brown Books

Publication date : June 9th, 2020

Source : eArc from the author

Rating : 5 hearts




The Handmaid’s Tale meets Wilder Girls in this unique, voice-driven novel from Kelly McWilliams.

Agnes loves her home of Red Creek–its quiet, sunny mornings, its dusty roads, and its God. There, she cares tirelessly for her younger siblings and follows the town’s strict laws. What she doesn’t know is that Red Creek is a cult, controlled by a madman who calls himself a prophet.

Then Agnes meets Danny, an Outsider boy, and begins to question what is and isn’t a sin. Her younger brother, Ezekiel, will die without the insulin she barters for once a month, even though medicine is considered outlawed. Is she a sinner for saving him? Is her sister, Beth, a sinner for dreaming of the world beyond Red Creek?

As the Prophet grows more dangerous, Agnes realizes she must escape with Ezekiel and leave everyone else, including Beth, behind. But it isn’t safe Outside, either: A viral pandemic is burning through the population at a terrifying rate. As Agnes ventures forth, a mysterious connection grows between her and the Virus. But in a world where faith, miracles, and cruelty have long been indistinguishable, will Agnes be able to choose between saving her family and saving the world?


Agnes is a young girl living in a sect, she obeys her father and the prophet, she follows the rules and is very religious. However, she breaks the rule once a month to find a stranger who provides her with the medicine to save her younger brother Ezekiel. Beth, her 15-year-old younger sister, is a little more rebellious and will try to find out what Agnes is hiding from her. I won’t say any more about the story except that Agnes meeting Danny will change everything.

I was really touched by this story, I’m not particularly religious and it’s hard to imagine how women or young girls can accept being treated as objects by the patriarchs, but I know it exists and it’s terrifying.

Agnes is adorable, she wants to save her brother, it’s not that she loves him more but just that he needs more attention because of his type 1 diabetes. When the disease starts to affect strangers and the prophet thinks about locking everyone up, Agnes on her side thinks about running away.

Beth is eccentric, she doesn’t understand why she has to follow the rules, listen to what the men say, don’t leave their town Red Creek, don’t talk to boys unless it’s your father, brother or husband. Beth is in rebellion. I love her very much, it’s true that at times those reactions may have been intense and out of proportion, but she’s only 15 years old.

Danny, what about that nice young man who wants to be a doctor and who’s going to take over from his mother to take Agnes’ medicine. He’s really cute. His attachment to Agnes and Ezekiel is adorable.

Quite frankly this book deals with the theme of worship, belief and rebellion in a very intelligent way. I really liked everything, I even liked to hate all those patriarchs who think that giving a 15 year old girl in marriage to an old man who already has 6 wives is a good thing. I also loved the destruction not of Agnes’ faith because it is not the case, but of her vision of life under anyone’s orders.

Kelly McWilliams has written a beautiful story with endearing characters that reads quickly and makes you feel a lot of different things.

Quick word : the story of two Rebels with their own ways.


Agnès est une jeune fille vivant dans une secte, elle obéit à son père et au prophète, elle suit les règles et est très croyante. Cependant, elle déroge à la règle une fois par mois pour retrouver une étrangère qui lui fournit le médicament permettant de sauver son jeune frère Ezekiel. Beth sa jeune sœur de 15 ans à l’esprit un peu plus rebelle et va essayer de découvrir ce qu’Agnes lui cache. Je n’en dirais pas plus sur l’histoire à part que la rencontre d’Agnes et de Danny va tout changer.

J’ai vraiment été touchée par cette histoire, je ne suis pas particulièrement croyante et j’ai du mal à m’imaginer comment des femmes ou des jeunes filles peuvent accepter d’être traitée comme des objets par les patriarches, cependant je sais que ça existe et c’est terrifiant.

Agnès est adorable, elle veut sauver son frère, ce n’est pas qu’elle l’aime plus mais juste qu’il a besoin de plus d’attention à cause de son diabète de type 1. Lorsque la maladie commence à toucher les étrangers et que le prophète songe à enfermer tout le monde, Agnès de son côté pense à fuir.

Beth est excentrique, elle ne comprend pas pourquoi elle doit suivre les règles, écouter ce que disent les hommes, ne pas sortir de leur ville Red Creek, ne pas parler aux garçons sauf si c’est votre père, frère ou mari. Beth est en rebellion. Je l’aime beaucoup, il est vrai que par moment ces réactions étaient peut-être intenses et disproportionnées mais elle n’a que 15 ans.

Danny, que dire de ce charmant jeune homme qui veut devenir médecin et qui va prendre la relève de sa mère pour emmener les médicaments à Agnes. Il est vraiment tout mignon. Son attachement à Agnès et Ezekiel est adorable.

Très franchement ce livre aborde le thème du culte, de la croyance et de la rebellion d’une manière très intelligente. J’ai vraiment tout aimé, j’ai même aimé détester tous ces patriarches qui pensent que donner une jeune fille de 15 ans en mariage a un vieux croulant qui a deja 6 femmes est une bonne chose. J’ai aussi adoré la destruction non pas de la foi d’Agnes car ce n’est pas le cas, mais celle de sa vision de la vie sous les ordres de qui que ce soit.

Kelly McWilliams a écrit une belle histoire avec des personnages attachants qui se lit rapidement et qui vous fait ressentir des tas de choses différentes.

En bref : l’histoire de deux Rebelles à leurs manières.

About the author

Kelly is the author of the upcoming young adult novel, AGNES AT THE END OF THE WORLD (June, 2020, Little, Brown Young Readers), which benefitted from a We Need Diverse Books Mentorship. She lives in Colorado with her partner and young daughter.
To sign up for her newsletter, visit
Follow me on instagram @kellymmcwilliams


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