This book is the second in a burgeoning series by Fleur Beale called ‘The Children of the Faith’. We follow fourteen year old Rebecca through the rituals of engagement and marriage in a Christian cult like setting within New Zealand. For those of you familiar with New Zealand’s Gloriavale, a Christian community branded as a cult, this is the essential background and inspiration for this tale. We follow as Rebecca is forced to accept whichever single male of age proposes to her father (she’s not even allowed to be there!), while she has no say in any decision made in her life.
I found this book rather disheartening as a feminist, watching as Rebecca was simply forced to accept what was happening around her without consultation or explanation. In saying that I can see how this might be quite eye opening for a teen, seeing how secretive and silent her and her twin Rachel must be due to how little freedom they are afforded. This could be a good read for a teen struggling with a lack of perceived freedom as it can show exactly how bad it could get and may actually be for a person really in Rebecca’s place.