I am Not Esther by Fluer Beale
Mrs Salter says-
Imagine waking up one morning and having your solo Mum tell you that she is going away to do missionary work and you are going to live with your Uncle. Only your mother isn’t religious and you didn’t know you had an Uncle. This is what happens to Kirby, who is renamed Esther in her new home because Kirby isn’t a biblical name.
This is an interesting look at life in families of strict religious groups (somewhat like Brethren), the rules and restrictions, the meetings and bible readings. Not all is bad for Esther, the family do their best to look after and ‘redeem’ her, but she finds the restrictive life hard to adjust to. The other children in the family are kind to her and are struggling with their own place in the world. If you break rules in this house there are consequences.
During her stay with the family she starts to realize that all is not as it seems. She is missing her Mum and wondering why she has been dumped in this situation.
I think this book dealt with the subject matter in a delicate and detailed way, not anti-christian but not shying away from the realities some children face growing up in a strict religious atmosphere. Good to read a book based in New Zealand by one of our most treasured authors.