Agnes and Honey are best friends who live in a strict religious community called Mount Blessing, under the leadership of Emmanuel, the perfect, sinless founder of "the Believers." The two friends were always two peas in a pod--until Agnes became more interested in religion than being a regular kid. When tragedy strikes Agnes' family, the girls must leave the commune and face the real world, where they must also come to terms with their differences.
From this novel, I learned a little bit about the power of brainwashing from the way Agnes was utterly obsessed with living a sinless life.
The Patron Saint of Butterflies is a great fictional piece, but should not necessarily be taken as a serious portrayal of modern religious community life.
Recommended for grades 9-12.
RVK in Town of Esopus