Helga Zeiner is a Canadian and German citizen, at the age of 18 she completed her arts degree at the Art School of Bavaria and left Germany. Since then she has lived and worked in Australia for two years and Hong Kong for twelve, but since 2004 has lived with her husband in the wilderness of British Columbia where they own over 500 acres and developed into a gated cabin community - The Rainbow County Estate. For as long as Helga can remember she has been writing novels, usually in her spare time, and though most of her time today is devoted to writing she also manages the land development company, is politically acitve, enjoys outdoor spots and loves smoking cigars.
Published: 1st July 2011
Publisher: POW WOW Books
Page Count: 458
Synopsis: Lillian is only 13 when her parents marry her to a middle-aged Bishop of a fundamentalist sect who practices polygamy. She is forced to live with her new husband’s many wives and children on his compound tucked away in the Canadian wilderness. The hardships of poverty and isolation have crushed the will of just about everybody in his flock. They suffer in silent submissiveness, trying to please their despotic leader. He justifies the humiliating treatment of his dependents by citing ‘Section 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants’ of his fundamentalist religion. Until, one day, Lillian had enough. But it is dangerous to try and escape the Bishop’s iron rule. He practices blood-atonement, which is quietly sanctioned by the ‘Gatekeepers’, an American secret society within the Fundamentalist Mormon Church. Lillian must find out-side help if she ever wants to leave the Bishop’s compound – but how can she do this if she is locked up without any means of communication? Lillian doesn’t know how life outside a compound functions. She only knows that she can not live like this much longer. Many questions plaque her troubled mind. Why do her sister-wives put up with this hardship, knowing only a bleak future lies ahead of them? Where do the child-brides come from, the Bishop keeps adding to his family? Where do some of his daughters disappear to, once they come of age? Lillian’s defiance grows with every injustice she witnesses – until she can’t hide her rebellion any longer.Her desperate struggle to escape draws the reader into a very dark, very dangerous place. But not all is hopeless. When land developer Richard Bergman buys the neighboring property, Lillian’s luck seems to be changing…
Review: Wow, this book is definitely very different to my usual reads so different that I'm going to have to discuss a few subjects that you may find sensitive. I decided to give myself a week to read this book thinking I could do that easily, but boy was I wrong, in fact I think this book needs to come with a warning cause it really effected me and was super heavy to read. For most books about religion I tend to steer clear because I don't find it that interesting nor do I follow any religion, but I decided to give this book a chance because I wanted to know what the mystery was that surrounded Lillian. The book for the most part is from two characters points of view Lillian the thirteen year old child bride to the "Bishop" and Richard who is in short a big time redeveloper, the main trouble I had with his chapters were that he'd go into so much into the business side of things that it went over my head and I had no idea what was going on but I soon learned to skim parts of what he was saying so that I wouldn't be so confused which helped moved the story on a lot quicker but I appreciated them all the same because I realised the author was using her own knowledge within his chapters, as for Lillian's chapters I initially struggled with them for a completely different reason, they were interesting but I had such a hard time coping with the idea of a thirteen year old being sold into a marriage to a 40 year old man who already had over 10 wives, not to mention the chapters where he forced himself on her to the point she threw up in his face, *shudder*. So you're probably sat here thinking wow she didn't think much of this book but quiet the opposite, whilst what happened in the book tormented me I enjoyed how powerful the writing was to make me feel such a way and also want to throw up, but I couldn't put it down because I had to know what happened not just with her but with the other wives and children and whether the Gatekeepers could actually be of any help, it was all very tense.
Recommend? Yes if you can handle it.
But you wanted to know more, right?