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Being Magdalene by Fleur Beale.

August 22, 2015

Being MagdaleneBeing Magdalene by Fleur Beale. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2015.

There needed to be a positive ending to this story of the Pilgrim Family that started with I am Not Esther and continued with I am Rebecca and this is it.

Caleb  and Naomi Pilgrim had 8 children and brought them up in the Children of the Faith religious Community headed by the despotic Elder Stephen. Their lives were dictated to by The Rule which Elder Stephen said was the word of god told through him. Chortle if you want.

The Rule rankled with all the Pilgrim children and divided their parents as it restricted freedom of choice and was an infringement on basic human rights particularly for girls and those who wanted to be educated. The Rule also proclaimed all who left the Faith to be dead and those who opposed the Rule would be damned and their mortal soul condemned in hell.

Needless to say the children were scared out of their wits but none more so than 12 year old Magdalene. She feels the pressure of the expulsion of brothe Daniel, sisters Miriam, Rebecca and cousin Esther real name Kirby. Now brothers Abraham and Luke are criticising The Rule but of greater concern is younger sister 7 year old Zillah who is a firebrand. Zillah says what she likes and tells Magdalene that she will run away and pleads for Magdalene to come with her. Will this happen? You will have to read the novel to find out.

Superbly written by Fleur Beale who keeps the tension on for the whole novel. Watching a family disintegrate is disturbing but the ending will bring tears to your eyes.

For readers of all ages from primary to high school. You will not forget this novel in a hurry. I do not often mention the cover of a novel but this one is superb.

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