Monday, 28 September 2015

Being Magdalene by Fleur Beale :: where everything is SKOOKUM

25959337Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 28th August 2015
Source: From the publisher
Purchase: Mighty Ape | Amazon
Read it in: 2 1/2 hours
Word Rating: SKOOKUM

The gripping sequel to the award-winning and bestselling YA novels I Am Not Esther and I am Rebecca.

Being Magdalene revisits the Pilgrim family and its closed religious community, The Children of the Faith.

Four years have passed since Rebecca ran away. The community simmers with tension and rumours of an approaching split, and life has become terrifying for Rebecca's remaining siblings as Elder Stephen seizes any chance to take revenge on them. Twelve-year-old Magdalene lives in fear that her strong-willed little sister, Zillah, will be his next target.

The girls have run out of people who can protect them. To Zillah their path is clear but Magdalene is torn. How can she cause more hurt and shame for her parents? But, equally, how can she face a life with no freedom to be herself?

And another question scares her most of all. Without the elders' suffocating rules that tell her how to live, who would Magdalene be?


I was trying to think up ONE word to completely describe BEING MAGDALENE and after a little Google searching (oh how I love Google!) I came across the perfect word: SKOOKUM.

By Google's definition, Skookum means, "as an adjective (of a person or animal) strong, brave, or impressive." And guys? This sums up BEING MADALENE perfectly.

As the third in the I Am Not Esther series (and I think the last book?) it delivers just as big as punch as the last two books, I Am Not Esther and I Am Rebecca have. Each story, although woven into each other intricately, is able to easily stand by itself and make you think, "Oh! This is as good as the last book! This is different but familiar and I LOVE it!"

This is a cult book. As cult books go, I found The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly more impressive but this still very much delivers on expectation. It also hit a bit closer to home then Minnow Bly did because we actually have a cult here in NZ that is EXTREMELY similar to the one written about in here.

As a series, I really recommend it. My favourite is probably the first book but they're ALL so good it's hard to say! PLUS Fleur Beale is a NZ author and this book is set in NZ! I read so much American and UK and Australian fiction that I forgot how nice it is to read a book set in NZ and RELATE to it because I live here! So I'm channelling my kiwi spirit when I demand you all go find a copy of this book, or the other books in the series NOW!

::Thank you Random House NZ for the review copy!::

Read anything by a NZ author?! Also what's a good cult book you can recommend to me??


  1. I love your enthusiasm over this book! And wowwww it's a NZ author?? That's definitely unique! Hehe SKOOKUM is definitely a unique word for a unique book!:)

  2. I love your enthusiasm over this book! And wowwww it's a NZ author?? That's definitely unique! Hehe SKOOKUM is definitely a unique word for a unique book!:)

  3. This sounds really, really good Ella! I've never read anything by a NZ author (*hides in corner of shame*) but it seems like this would be a great place to start. I think I'm going to wait a few weeks though, since I just finished The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly (per your recommendation actually) and loved it; so I want to wait a bit for me feels to die down before I start another book like that. Thank you for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

  4. I loved I am not Esther, but I never read the rest and I really must get to that (SO MANY BOOKS TO READ....). Also cult books are definitely fascinating! I read The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly because of your rec and loved it... All the cultishness really does remind me of a certain NZ cult thing. I know exactly what your talking about and I bet it really is a glorious place *ahem*

    Skookum is a great word - I am going to begin using it.


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