Being Magdalene (I Am Not Esther, #3)
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?

Being Magdalene (I Am Not Esther, #3) Details

TitleBeing Magdalene (I Am Not Esther, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 28th, 2015
PublisherRandom House New Zealand
ISBN-139781775537670
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Being Magdalene (I Am Not Esther, #3) Review

  • ♫✯Em loves Hollenstein✯♫❤the summertime and butterflies all belong to your creation❤
    January 1, 1970
    HOW DO I WORDS RIGHT NOW
  • Ella Edwards
    January 1, 1970
    4.8 stars. I didn't think this was as good as the others in the series, but it concluded nicely.
  • Kathleen Dixon
    January 1, 1970
    This is an excellent third and final book in the series that begins with I Am Not Esther. The whole Pilgrim family has been shaken by the children who have opted out of the community, the visit of Kirby (renamed Esther by the Pilgrims) and her running away, and then Rebecca's opt-out. Other community members have left as well, and there is clearly dissension in the ranks. Within all this, Magdalene is torn. She likes 'the Rule' - it helps her know what to do, but she knows they don't tell the tr This is an excellent third and final book in the series that begins with I Am Not Esther. The whole Pilgrim family has been shaken by the children who have opted out of the community, the visit of Kirby (renamed Esther by the Pilgrims) and her running away, and then Rebecca's opt-out. Other community members have left as well, and there is clearly dissension in the ranks. Within all this, Magdalene is torn. She likes 'the Rule' - it helps her know what to do, but she knows they don't tell the truth about people who have left being dead. Her youngest sister, Zillah, is rebellious and Magdalene is desperate for her to not be emotionally and mentally harmed by the harsh discipline. On top of that, their mother is no longer the loving woman she used to be, and their father appears distracted and uncertain.It's been good reading these books and I would thoroughly recommend them to young people wanting to know about alternative ways of living that are current today. They also pose excellent questions about loyalty and faith.
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    Reread review: I love the other two books in this series too, but this one... It just breaks my heart. Original review: I have no words. That was just amazing.
  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    My first book read by Fleur Beale but won't be my last. What an engaging, emotional story. This felt really real and kind of factual, because of what we know of Gloriavale. And yet its a universal story. Both sad and joyful.
  • Sarah Lee
    January 1, 1970
    Another great read and finished the three book series, that started with 'I Am Not Esther'.
  • Paula Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    One of my all-time favourite NZ Books is "I am Not Esther" by Fleur Beale which was the first book to take place in the cult Children of the Faith and featuring the Pilgrim Family. At the end of Book #1 the family had deemed Miriam , Daniel and Esther "dead". This left the twins Rebecca and Rachel, Abraham, Luke, Magdalene and Zillah in the family. The next book was I am Rebecca which was the story of Rebecca and Rachel - the twins who were getting ready to be married , it also showed the start One of my all-time favourite NZ Books is "I am Not Esther" by Fleur Beale which was the first book to take place in the cult Children of the Faith and featuring the Pilgrim Family. At the end of Book #1 the family had deemed Miriam , Daniel and Esther "dead". This left the twins Rebecca and Rachel, Abraham, Luke, Magdalene and Zillah in the family. The next book was I am Rebecca which was the story of Rebecca and Rachel - the twins who were getting ready to be married , it also showed the start of a new community as the Cult moved to Nelson and become more closed. Rebecca was forced to marry the church Elder Stephen and when she discovered that this wasn't her life dream , she too ran away and was considered "dead" whereas her twin sister Rachel stayed and married and eventually had two children. In Book #3 Being Magdalene , the Pilgrim family are being made as outcasts and treated differently especially since Rebecca's act of defiance against their leader. Magdalene and her sister Zillah are not enjoying life here one bit and they too feel that out in the world would suit them better, but they are young - how could they leave behind their families as their siblings have done. It seems that the Pilgrim family are causing such an uproar in the church community and soon they maybe the ones to cause a divide and eventually leave the faith all together for a better life out in the world. Is it time for the Pilgrim family to become a "true family" once again or will they stand divided as some of their family members still believe in the Rule ? Find out in another amazing look at life in a cult through a teenager's eyes in Book #3 I am Not Esther series "Being Magdalene" . A book that I recommend should be on every teen's reading list this year.
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  • Jess Hale
    January 1, 1970
    A longer and, perhaps, slightly more nuanced and mature addition to the "Esther" series. Magdalene is more damaged than Kirby or Rebecca - although, like Rebecca, she has grown up in the Faith community, she doesn't quite have Rebecca's quiet good nature and belief in the rightness of the community. Magdalene has been scarred by her childhood (I still cringe thinking of the descriptions of five-year-old Magdalene quietly sobbing in prayer sessions from "I am Not Esther"!) and by the time we get A longer and, perhaps, slightly more nuanced and mature addition to the "Esther" series. Magdalene is more damaged than Kirby or Rebecca - although, like Rebecca, she has grown up in the Faith community, she doesn't quite have Rebecca's quiet good nature and belief in the rightness of the community. Magdalene has been scarred by her childhood (I still cringe thinking of the descriptions of five-year-old Magdalene quietly sobbing in prayer sessions from "I am Not Esther"!) and by the time we get to her story, the Children of Faith sect is crumbling.Magdalene is driven by her love for her sister Zillah (and to a lesser extent her other siblings) and I loved this relationship and driving force. I also liked Magdalene's complex relationship with her parents - while in previous books her father has been the main "antagonist" and her mother strict but quietly supportive, in this book that's turned around and it's hopeful to see her father's growing turnaround and change of heart. It's not all plain sailing, and while the ending is realistically optimistic, I'd love to see a longer resolution for this family.Magdalene's depression is handled well, and is definitely different to the defiant Kirby and resilient Rebecca. Her recovery and discovery of who she wants to be is a lovely ending for the book.
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  • Adele Broadbent
    January 1, 1970
    Third in the story of the Pilgrim Family, Being Magdalene tells the story of 12 yr old Magdalene Pilgrim and how her world is falling apart around her. Desperate to protect her younger sister Zillah from any backlash for her strong-willed behavior, Magdalene is suffering herself. Her older brothers Abraham and Luke are balking against The Rule and Magdalene isn't sure what to believe. Their leader Elder Stephen is attacking the Pilgrim family every chance he gets, since their 16 yr old sister Re Third in the story of the Pilgrim Family, Being Magdalene tells the story of 12 yr old Magdalene Pilgrim and how her world is falling apart around her. Desperate to protect her younger sister Zillah from any backlash for her strong-willed behavior, Magdalene is suffering herself. Her older brothers Abraham and Luke are balking against The Rule and Magdalene isn't sure what to believe. Their leader Elder Stephen is attacking the Pilgrim family every chance he gets, since their 16 yr old sister Rebecca ran away from their impending wedding.But Abraham, Luke and little Zillah are much surer than Magdalene about how they want their lives to be, and they find a way to break away.Zillah thrives away from The Rule, but Magdalene is still torn between her duty to her parents, and the regime of The Rule, and it takes much longer for her to find out who the real Magdalene is.A fabulous ending to this wonderful series. Very believable in the fact that nothing was clear cut and tidy and straight forward. There was much hurt, duty, sadness, confusion and anger, between the different relationships within the family dynamics.Fantastic Kiwi Fiction.
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  • Discoverylover
    January 1, 1970
    I discovered there was a third book in this trilogy completely by accident. I was lighting a fire (in a fire place!) and noticed a review of the book on one of the bits of newspaper I was using. It doesn't seem like that long since 'I am Rebecca' came out to me, mostly because I only got around to reading it this year, so it was a welcome surprise to get another book in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought the changes in the family were well thought through, as well as Magdalene I discovered there was a third book in this trilogy completely by accident. I was lighting a fire (in a fire place!) and noticed a review of the book on one of the bits of newspaper I was using. It doesn't seem like that long since 'I am Rebecca' came out to me, mostly because I only got around to reading it this year, so it was a welcome surprise to get another book in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought the changes in the family were well thought through, as well as Magdalene's character. The ending was absolutely perfect, with just enough hope to keep me going, but still believable for all the other characters.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I loved I am not Esther so continued on with Rebecca and now Magdalene. I expect this saga is over. It was good to find out more about the family and see some happy endings and meet some old friends. This book would not stand on it's own though.
  • MissStan
    January 1, 1970
    A great finish to this trilogy. I have thoroughly the entire series about the Pilgrims. This was another page turner for me. Great characters and a story that draws you into their world. Highly recommended - read the whole series!
  • C.J. Hill
    January 1, 1970
    I taught I Am Not Esther for many years which tells the story of a young girl being suddenly transplanted into a completely strange way of life when she is sent to relations who are members of a religious cult. It raised many questions about resilience, rules, power and relationships.In Being Magdelene, Beale revisits the same cult and charts the escape to the outside world of another member of the same family. While we care about this character, there is nothing particularly new in what we lear I taught I Am Not Esther for many years which tells the story of a young girl being suddenly transplanted into a completely strange way of life when she is sent to relations who are members of a religious cult. It raised many questions about resilience, rules, power and relationships.In Being Magdelene, Beale revisits the same cult and charts the escape to the outside world of another member of the same family. While we care about this character, there is nothing particularly new in what we learn about the lifestyle or her difficulties removing herself from it. However, as part of a series, it shows the increasing awareness of the cult members and the reader hopes that, eventually, they will all either improve their lifestyle or escape from it.
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  • Grier Rollinson
    January 1, 1970
    another really good book! i read this the while 7 Hours home from christchurch i could just not put it down!!!! it is soooooo good i love this series!!!!! i prefered i am rebecca out if all of them but this came in a close secind. ahh you just havw to read them to know what im talking about! SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!
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  • TJL
    January 1, 1970
    UGH, SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CONCLUSION.I enjoyed almost every second of it, and I have to say, (view spoiler)[having Caleb end up being the one to soften and Naomi be the one to clench up and follow the rule to a T was entirely unexpected. I was rather pleased with that unexpected track. (hide spoiler)]And now it's over, and I'm sad.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book so much and it is a go to! It is such a nice read that really does mean lots. It gives you an interesting perspective into the lives of people who focus their live's around religion and I just love that interesting view! I really recommend it.
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  • Kit
    January 1, 1970
    Another great bookI loved this series so much and I feel like I got nearly every end result I could have wanted. I love that the trauma was never brushed away carelessly and everyone had to find their way to heal and live on in the world. Just a beautifully written series
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  • Larissa Denton
    January 1, 1970
    My kids and I LOVED this series. Great kiwi writing made us all feel like we could imagine being in the main character's position. It was awesome for the kids to see life in NZ from a very, very different perspective from their own. I recommend these books to anyone who likes a good page turner!
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  • Te-ana
    January 1, 1970
    This was absolutely beautiful. My favourite out of the 3. It made me laugh and definitely made me cry. Amazing.
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    This series gets better as it continues.
  • Barb
    January 1, 1970
    Not sure if this is our last meeting with the Pilgrim family, but if so, it is a fitting send off. Great insight into the inside of a insular Christian community.
  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    Being Magdalene is an incredible book. It tied up the "I Am Not Esther" trilogy perfectly and left me thinking. I recommend this book for preteens and teens.
  • Shanti
    January 1, 1970
    This felt somewhat samey after its two predecessors, but was still a good story about family and faith, and I'm glad I read it.
  • Sand-Witch
    January 1, 1970
    I read the first two books two years ago so it took me a bit to remember who anybody was. It's a good book
  • Charles
    January 1, 1970
    A lot more fleshed out than the other two, easier to connect to.
  • Sarah Norman
    January 1, 1970
    I choose to read ‘Being Magdalene’ by Fleur Beale because I have already read the previous two books in the trilogy 'I am not Esther’ and ‘I am Rebecca’. The is one of the series I’ve really enjoyed so reading the third book was great.I really enjoyed reading this book because it gives a view on a different way of life and how people perceive things differently. Something I learned reading ‘Being Magdalene’ is how much freedom majority of people have. “The Children of the Faith' (the religious c I choose to read ‘Being Magdalene’ by Fleur Beale because I have already read the previous two books in the trilogy 'I am not Esther’ and ‘I am Rebecca’. The is one of the series I’ve really enjoyed so reading the third book was great.I really enjoyed reading this book because it gives a view on a different way of life and how people perceive things differently. Something I learned reading ‘Being Magdalene’ is how much freedom majority of people have. “The Children of the Faith' (the religious cult the novel is set in) has strict rules for gender, marriage and education. This shows how little freedom, especially female members of the group, get. The trilogy of books is set around girls breaking away from the strict rules and in the end, each removing themselves from the faith. A character that was interesting to me was this novel's main female protagonist, Magdalene. Like the other two girls (Esther/Kirby and Rebecca), she comes to the realisation of how they are being treated compared to 'worldly' people, but unlike the other two, she is treated worse by her parents as they wish not to lose another child (Magdalenes's family has gone from 8 children (Esther being a niece) to at the start of 'Being Magdalene' 5).
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  • Eloise Muir
    January 1, 1970
    I chose to read Being Magdalene because I had read and loved the previous two books in the series, I am not Esther and I am Rebecca.Overall I liked it, especially the way it tied up the loose ends in the Pilgrim family saga, but I thought that it didn't quite live up to the high expectations set by the other two books: the child characters (particularly Zillah, the 7 year old) acted unrealistically for their age, and I didn't learn as much about the Children of the Faith in this book as in the p I chose to read Being Magdalene because I had read and loved the previous two books in the series, I am not Esther and I am Rebecca.Overall I liked it, especially the way it tied up the loose ends in the Pilgrim family saga, but I thought that it didn't quite live up to the high expectations set by the other two books: the child characters (particularly Zillah, the 7 year old) acted unrealistically for their age, and I didn't learn as much about the Children of the Faith in this book as in the prequels (lack of personal identity was the focus in I.A.N.E, then arranged marriage in I.A.R.) so parts of it felt a bit rehashed - people had left the cult to seek a 'worldly' education in previous books.This novel did make me think about what life would be like if I were in a religious cult and compare aspects of my life to Magdalene's - I'd never really thought about what it would be like to have available information restricted to a set of ridiculous rules and the Bible.I found Magdalene and her inner conflict interesting. Throughout the book, she struggled between the comfort and familiarity of the Children of the Faith, or the alternative: freedom at the price of leaving everything she'd ever known.
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  • Cas
    January 1, 1970
    Magdalene's world has been ripped apart, torn and shredded to pieces in the last six years of her life. It's a struggle for her each and every day, as she must be a seemly, obedient girl in order to survive under the watchful eye of Elder Stephen, who is out for revenge after his bride to be, Rebecca ran away from him on their wedding day. One step out of line could have drastic consequences for Magdalene...Being Magdalene is definitely my favourite book of the series. Not only is it longer than Magdalene's world has been ripped apart, torn and shredded to pieces in the last six years of her life. It's a struggle for her each and every day, as she must be a seemly, obedient girl in order to survive under the watchful eye of Elder Stephen, who is out for revenge after his bride to be, Rebecca ran away from him on their wedding day. One step out of line could have drastic consequences for Magdalene...Being Magdalene is definitely my favourite book of the series. Not only is it longer than the previous two, we get to see all the characters in their chosen habitats by the end of the book. Magdalene's perspective is the perfect conclusion for this story, she's a character which hasn't ever been far from the action, and is finally being given a voice. As the book progresses, we really get to see how much Magdalene's life has been affected by events from past books.Again, the issue of not being able to discern how much time had passed arose, but it wasn't so bad especially as Magdalene is a special case. Maybe it's personal bias, but I thought the storyline about Daniel was abrupt and a random shred of information which didn't make sense since he had little to do with book two. It's a perfectly logical move, but I don't think it was a necessary addition to the story and only confused me.This book was definitely my favourite of the series. All the characters react much more naturally in their desired settings. Magdalene's voice will not be extinguished, and her perspective adds so much more to the story. For fans of rebellious girls who will fight for the right to freedom, read the I Am Not Esther series.
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  • P.D.R. Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    This is the third in a series about children and teenagers in a Fundamentalist Christian sect. Sounds grim? No, it is a well written, simply written book, yet Fleur Beale manages to convey the problems her MC faces without being over-dramatic, melodramatic or sensational. She is writing about the freedom to choose, but she never hammers the theme home, she just shows us poor Magdalene struggling to be a good daughter and fit in.The Pilgrim Family have been in the Sect for all the children's live This is the third in a series about children and teenagers in a Fundamentalist Christian sect. Sounds grim? No, it is a well written, simply written book, yet Fleur Beale manages to convey the problems her MC faces without being over-dramatic, melodramatic or sensational. She is writing about the freedom to choose, but she never hammers the theme home, she just shows us poor Magdalene struggling to be a good daughter and fit in.The Pilgrim Family have been in the Sect for all the children's lives but the restrictions have been too much for some of them. In the earlier books we see Esther and Rebecca freeing themselves, here we have an excellent example of what happens to people who try to force themselves into a mould not of their making or choosing. Living this restricted life is actually driving Magdalene into mental distress. Thank heavens her younger sister, Zillah, needs protecting and ultimately thrusts them both into the 'Worldly' world where they can actually meet their banished sisters and brothers.A very good book for making young readers think about individual rights, about making choices and about duty and self. Recommended for all and it would be a nice book for family read aloud sessions.
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  • Lorraine Orman
    January 1, 1970
    The cover says this is the sequel to I Am Not Esther, and I Am Rebecca. The three books form a series about the Pilgrim family and their experiences within and outside a fundamentalist cult. This latest book has a strong family theme, with the Pilgrim parents ending up with only one daughter out of eight offspring remaining in the cult. Four years have passed since Rebecca ran away to escape being married to a cruel Elder. 12-year-old Magdalene and her spirited younger sister Zillah are now bein The cover says this is the sequel to I Am Not Esther, and I Am Rebecca. The three books form a series about the Pilgrim family and their experiences within and outside a fundamentalist cult. This latest book has a strong family theme, with the Pilgrim parents ending up with only one daughter out of eight offspring remaining in the cult. Four years have passed since Rebecca ran away to escape being married to a cruel Elder. 12-year-old Magdalene and her spirited younger sister Zillah are now being ground down by the oppressive rule of the cult. How can they save themselves? This story is best read as part of the series rather than a stand-alone book, so readers are familiar with the important back-stories of the older siblings. I devoured it in a couple of days -it's one of those books you carry round with you to read whenever you have a spare moment. Strongly recommended for teens, especially girls.
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