When she turns 14, life inside a religious cult becomes too much for Rebecca when she finds out who she is to marry.
All the girls in her strict religious sect must be married just after their 16th birthdays. Her twin sister Rachel desperately wants to marry the boy she's given her heart to. All Rebecca wants is to have a husband who is kind, but both girls know the choice is not theirs to make.
But what will the future hold for Rebecca? Is there a dark side to the rules which have kept her safe? Can the way ahead be so simple when the community is driven by secrets and hidden desires?
Award-winning YA writer Fleur Beale's gripping sequel to the bestselling classic I Am Not Esther is a psychological thriller.
I was so excited to see the sequel to ‚úI am not Esther‚Ě was coming out, and was ecstatic to receive this for review from KIWIreviews. "I am not Esther" is an emotional and gripping story that is often studied in High Schools all around New Zealand. With the recent screening of ‚úGloriavale‚Ě on TV3, telling the true story of the religious cult on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, which this book is based on.
I am Rebecca is told from the perspective of a young girl, who is a twin, and the cousin of Esther from the previous book. She lives in the godly community on the West Coast and lives her life by ‚ėThe Rule‚ ™. The book follows her journey in a ‚ėcoming of age‚ ™ manner and I found myself unable to put it down - I needed to know what was coming next.
I was really surprised at the twists and turns that the book takes, if you found ‚úI am not Esther‚Ě a little predictable, I assure you this one is bound to throw some unexpected narrative twists in. Fleur Beale writes in a way that you can feel yourself immersed in the community, as right, or wrong as you believe the concept of the community they live in is, the writing eats you up, then spits you out when you are least expecting.
I was really sad to finish the book, it‚ ™s a quick read but very good. It is accessible for younger readers, with Rebecca being 14 at the start of this book, but also enjoyable by older readers interested in a different way of living. I really like how Beale develops the relationships outside the community when Rebecca and her sister sell eggs at the market, the details she includes in the description of ‚ėworldly‚ ™ people.
All in all, I would recommend this book to everyone, it is an interesting insight into a small sector of New Zealand, although it is fictional I believe from the research and readings I have done on the community this book resembles the way of life correctly.
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