Author(s): Fleur Beale
The disturbing story of the ruthless exercise of power in a New Zealand religious cult. Charismatic, driven and self-righteous, Neville Cooper set up his own brand of Christian utopia on earth: a reclusive community on the West Coast of New Zealand. For the 400 inhabitants of Gloriavale, his word is law u despite his 1995 conviction for sexual abuse. His son Phil Cooper, as headstrong as his father, had to escape. But Phil's wife Sandy was bound to the will of Neville and his brand of eternal salvation. And so began the monumental tug-of-war between father and son: a son who wanted to give his children a chance in the world. This is a true story of power and control, of abductions and night raids, of hearts broken and those trying to mend. It's also the story of the long shadow cast by the unyielding vision of one man, and the hope and resolve of one family to restore its shattered past.
I Am Not Esther, I Am Rebecca and Sins of the Father by Fleur Beale
I have just finished reading three books by Fleur Beale, first was I am not Esther, quickly followed by I am Rebecca, then, without pause, Sins of the Father. All three books completely intrigued me. The first two are Young Adult books, which follow a period in the lives of Kirby (Esther) and Rebecca, who belong to a closed religious family. Through reading about their lives, issues of religion, power, power, control and freedom are explored. The non-fiction Sins of the Father, is an account of the life of Phil Cooper, the son of Neville Cooper, the founder and leader of the West Coast Glorivale community - a fascinating read and insight into the ‘Cooperites’ and the impact such a life had on one family. - Sarah
Fleur Beale was born in Inglewood, Taranaki. Fleur is currently a full-time writer, manuscript assessor and enthusiastic traveller.