Being Magdalene (I Am Not Esther #3) by Fleur Beale
Publisher: Random House New Zealand
Goodreads Summary: 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?
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
Purchase Location: Borrowed From Library
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Recommended for: Fans of teen fiction.