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Fleur Beale

Teoksen I Am Not Esther tekijä

49 teosta 1,030 jäsentä 52 arvostelua 6 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Fleur Beale was born in 1945 in New Zealand. She is a teenage fiction writer. She attended Victoria University and Christchurch Teacher's Training College. She taught at Melville High School from the mid 80s to late 90s in Hamilton, Waikato and in Wellington. Beale's first stories were written for näytä lisää the children's radio programme Grandpa's Place. Her first book was a small reader and picture book for young children and she started to write for teenagers in 1993. Her stories often involve troubled adolescents engaged in outdoor activities. Beale was a finalist in the AIM Children's Book Awards and her 1998 novel I Am Not Esther was shortlisted for the senior fiction section of the 1999 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. In 1999 she was awarded the Children's Writing Fellowship at Dunedin College of Education and quit teaching to write full-time. Her 2001 novel Ambushed was a finalist for the Junior Fiction section of the 2002 New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. Her 2004 account of how an indigenous girl discovers how her education can save her tribal lands (My Story A New Song in the Land. The Writings of Atapo, Pahia, received a Notable Book award in 2005 as did Walking Lightly. In 2012, Beale became the last recipient of the Margaret Mahy Award during Margaret Mahy's lifetime In 2015 she won the LIANZA Librarians' Choice Award 2015 with her title I Am Rebecca. Her book's I Am Not Esther and Being Magdalene made the New Zealand Best Seller List in 2015. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

Sisältää nimet: Fleur Beale, Fluer Beale, Fleur Beale


Tekijän teokset

I Am Not Esther (2004) 306 kappaletta, 17 arvostelua
Juno of Taris (2008) 90 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
End of the Alphabet (2009) 57 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
Fierce September (2010) 56 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
I am Rebecca (2014) 49 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
A Respectable Girl (2006) 45 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
The Transformation of Minna Hargreaves (2007) 45 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Being Magdalene (2015) 36 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Slide the Corner (1993) 34 kappaletta, 2 arvostelua
Lucky for Some (2002) 30 kappaletta, 4 arvostelua
Heart of Danger (2011) 27 kappaletta
Dirt Bomb (2011) 17 kappaletta, 3 arvostelua
The Boy in the Olive Grove (2012) 15 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Lyla: Through My Eyes - Natural Disaster Zones (2018) 15 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Deadly Prospect (2000) 13 kappaletta
Lacey and the Drama Queens (2004) 12 kappaletta
The Calling (2021) 11 kappaletta
Playing to win (1999) 10 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Further back than zero (1998) 10 kappaletta
Walking Lightly (2004) 9 kappaletta
Keep out (Skyracer Purple) (2003) 9 kappaletta
Faraway Girl (2022) 8 kappaletta
Speed Freak (2013) 7 kappaletta
Trucker (Orbit Chapter Books) (2000) 7 kappaletta
The Fortune Teller (1995) 5 kappaletta
Driving a Bargain (Tui Junior) (1994) 5 kappaletta
A surprise for Anna (1990) 5 kappaletta
My life of crime (2007) 5 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Red Dog in Bandit Country (2003) 4 kappaletta
Fifteen and Screaming (1995) 4 kappaletta
Ambushed (2001) 3 kappaletta
Am Ende des Alphabets (2015) 2 kappaletta
Trucker (Skyracer Green) (2003) 2 kappaletta
Against the tide (1993) 2 kappaletta
Once upon a wickedness (2023) 1 kappale
Destination disaster (2001) 1 kappale
Nash's Story 1 kappale
Over the edge (1994) 1 kappale
Rockman (1996) 1 kappale

Merkitty avainsanalla




Kirby has always taken care of her mother more than her mother has taken care of her: she does all the bill paying and grocery shopping, and keeps her mom on a budget as best she can. But just before Christmas her mom starts acting strange and nervous, and then suddenly they're packing their belongings and leaving town, with no real explanation. Her mother leaves Kirby with the family she's never met and who belong to a strict Christian cult the lives by The Rule. She's renamed Esther, forced to live by the cult's oppressive ways, and finds herself slowly losing her identity even as she fights to maintain it. Will she be able to escape and find her mother? Will she ever be Kirby again?

A good story that keeps the tension without getting too dark, and gives a good look into how harmful such sects can be both physically and mentally. Nicely drawn characters and good pacing.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
electrascaife | 16 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 25, 2023 |
do you ever feel like the only person on goodreads who Didn't Get It

this was so short and left me somewhere in the realm of "eh, okay," so i'm not even gonna pretend to format this like a proper review. enjoy jotnotes...

the good

- kirby herself. a goddamn fireball who i found pretty funny, wild, reckless, and for all her big talk, still had a heart and kindness to give to her 'siblings' and some of the church kids who she was initially a snot about

- loved loved loved how kirby became a big sister to Maggie, and how important Maggie was. I felt like she was dropped in the ending and we all forgot about her, but for someone who expected ONLY kirby and daniel to be the pair of rebellious awesome break-away teens while everyone else were god-fearing pests, i liked how close kirby got to the kids and how caring she became - in her own wild way.

- i appreciate kirby's conflicted feelings towards her mom. i feel like the proper emotional beats got scrambled and a little lost in the delivery, but all the pieces were there and they GENERALLY locked together nicely, so...yeah

- writing style. bugged me at first because it took me by surprise, but once i realized i was essentially reading a novella (my ereader calculated the pages as being hardly over 100 so it at least FELT shorter) i appreciated it more. while the story isn't packed with events, the style races us through at warp-speed. kirby's colourful commentary and humour were also really nice

the bad

- the Big One: the theme/thread that was apparently supposed to be so important that it became the title. man, this...was a let-down. kirby didn't change AT ALL. while the relationship with her mother swung a bit wildly, every other arc between her and the characters were predictable and tepid at best, and her relationship with the "persona" of Esther was wooorrrse. Kirby from start to finish was loud about her hatred of the rules, unwilling to budge, self-righteous, and cranky. It tried to sneak in some lines that held NO weight and NO evidence in her actual actions about how she was feeling herself drifting to their side or something, but they were so out of place and so ridiculously obvious that they felt like they were cut-pasted in after the novel was done as a second thought. they had no consequences beyond some throwaway lines about "o no i am esther" "no you aren't" "oh okay it's cool now." was i supposed to think that her saving Naomi FROM DEATH was a big sign of how she was changing and warming up to them? idk man I would call the police for some rando on the street, this doesn't prove anything.

- the "villains" were caricatures. like, i get the point, but kirby's biased narration left me feeling like i was missing something. i mean, they weren't completely irredeemable/void of any human qualities besides "pray", right?

- repetitive with things that were supposed to make me uncomfortable. they did initially - damn this uncle locking her away and praying like a maniac! but kirby was so bullheaded and dismissive that i stopped caring, and yet it still kept hammering the same punishments for the same boring bad behaviour. her cutting off her hair was really satisfying for a reason, and broke the monotony that kirby was apathetic about so i was too. that scene alone should put this point on a "ehhh okay" list but we have none.

- idk that about summarizes it
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Chyvalrys | 16 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 5, 2020 |
I was truly happy for her - for both of them.
I'd never felt so alone.

My review to I Am Not Esther wasn't exactly glowing. Hell, the entire time I read it, I wasn't exactly having the time of my life either - but there was something in it that kept me interested and reading, and to I Am Rebecca's credit, I think it tapped into whatever that was with more strength and more confidence. I enjoyed this one a ton more, although I've got my gripes on some pretty obvious things.

The subtlety of the writing style suited the banality, the routine, the lack of autonomy that Rebecca experiences in her faith, and despite that, I found myself really liking Rebecca. I thoroughly enjoyed following her around on this montage of curious events and quiet take on oddities and the small special things in her life. Things like the patterned petticoats and the worldly market really stuck out as precious, no matter how simple they were, without parading it in the narrative.

And this is gonna be the most obvious thing to say, but in stark contrast to Esther, I just really enjoyed the...events? I don't know? I found it interesting and fast-paced (although the synopsis calling it a thriller is such a ridiculous joke, call it a bloodbath horror why don't you), with a gentle touch of drama and emotion.

But on the flipside, that gentleness, that banality, was also to blame for its biggest failings for me. It felt one-note and emotioness even though it had plenty of tense, frightening moments; it all read the same, and it seemed to greatly struggle at breaking past its surface of tedium to actually get into some real emotions. Don't get me wrong, I cared for Rebecca's fate, and was appropriately scared, disgusted, and angry for her, but it all felt so passive and shallow.

Next up is the religion deal. This book is about religion, but it's not a religious book - and ok, if it decides that it's not its goal to preach to me, then fine. But you can't write a character in a deeply religious community, where religion is all she knows, and be afraid to talk about God. God was ever-present for sure, but in a way where it felt like they were talking about a piece of furniture instead of a being of some sort that mattered SO MUCH to everyone. All thoughts about God were at arm's length, as if Beale was afraid of making her character wonder something about God in case someone would get mad at her (like, I read a lot of 'I prayed to the Lord' but none of 'I hope the Lord listened', 'Why would the Lord speak to Stephen if Stephen is such a major douche', 'what does the Lord think?'). Whether Beale wanted it or not, Rebecca's faith begged for God to be a character, even a distant abstract one. To Esther, God was some weird imaginary thing. To Rebecca, God is a very important person in her life, and I bought absolutely none of it when we couldn't break the surface of her faith into any real feeling or any real connection or perceived connection.

Near the end, it touched briefly on some real solid lines about her doubt ("the Lord got mixed up with Elder Stephen. I didn't have a scrap of belief in Elder Stephen"), and it found the foothold it had been scrambling for the whole rest of the book - but having Rebecca doubt these enormous claims ("or hell in eternity when I died. Unless that wasn't true either") felt flimsy when all I had about her faith before was "well I guess she believes because she lives there." It's just frustrating to have the book try and make me feel and doubt and tip off the edge into a new character arc when there was nothing before it. This is my big hang-up with I Am Not Esther all over again. Ughhhhhh.

Whatever. Despite that, forget about God, forget about religion - forget about all of that and I really liked it. The characters were really lovely, the simple ideas and simple situations were pleasant and their drama & stakes were weighed with a careful hand. I really loved Rebecca herself, and I'm even in a space where I wanted a more conclusive ending not because I'm being a gremlin about the technical aspect, but because I wanted to know she was okay. Just again, it only scratched the surface with its emotion and its themes.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Chyvalrys | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Aug 5, 2020 |
I Am Not Esther by New Zealand author Fleur Beale is an engrossing story about a modern girl, Kirby, whose mother leaves her in the care of her strict and pious brother, Caleb, who along with his wife and children are members of a Religious Sect called Children of the Faith. This faith is rigidly traditional. Kirby is immediately renamed Esther and forced to wear her hair tied back in a braid. Her clothes are replaced by long skirts, she is forbidden to use slang or take lord’s name in vain. Failure to follow the rules means immediate punishment, which included long hours on her knees and the whole family praying over her. Women were considered to be the property of the men and early marriages were arranged.

Although terribly confused and angry at her mother for leaving her with these people, she does grow very fond of her cousins, and eventually helps the eldest boy, Daniel, make a break with the community. Although her mother was to have gone to Africa to work as a nurse, it is discovered that she never left New Zealand. Kirby needs to find her mother and discover her reasons for leaving and for abandoning her daughter in this way. Kirby also realizes that she needs to get away as she is in danger of losing her own identity.

Well written and mostly believable, I Am Not Esther was an enjoyable YA read. The story flowed easily and although the Children of the Faith are fictional, the ideas and life style they supported seemed real and gave the reader a good idea of how restrictive a cult like this can be.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
DeltaQueen50 | 16 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 21, 2020 |



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