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Life inside a religious cult becomes too much for 16-year-old Rebecca when she finds out who she is to marry. An award-winning and thrilling sequel to the bestselling classic I am Not Esther, by the acclaimed Fleur Beale.

Life inside a religious cult becomes too much for 16-year-old Rebecca when she finds out who she is to marry. An award-winning and thrilling sequel to the bestselling classic I am Not Esther, by the acclaimed Fleur Beale.

Winner of a Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Award 2015

LIANZA Librarian's Choice Award 2015

When she turns 14, Rebecca will find out who she is to marry.

All the girls in her strict religious sect must be married just after their 16th birthdays. Her twin sister Rachel desperately wants to marry the boy she's given her heart to. All Rebecca wants is to have a husband who is kind, but both girls know the choice is not theirs to make.

But what will the future hold for Rebecca? Is there a dark side to the rules which have kept her safe? Can the way ahead be so simple when the community is driven by secrets and hidden desires?

Award-winning YA writer Fleur Beale's gripping sequel to the bestselling classic I am not Esther is a psychological thriller.


a long-awaited and equally compelling sequel

Weekend Herald

A psychological thriller out of the top drawer with a stunning ending.

Weekend Press

Good writing can reveal our prejudices as being the shallow things they are. Really good writing does that and entertains the reader at the same time. Such is the case with New Zealand author Fleur Beale's latest book, I am Rebecca, the sequel to her bestseller of 16 years ago, I am not Esther. ... This is a tension-filled, thrilling read that affirms genuine belief while exposing hypocrisy.

Rene Nol, Otago Daily Times

This is the sequel to Fleur Beale’s young adult bestseller I am not Esther, published in 1998. I am Rebecca is every bit as good. The story stands alone, however I’m sure once you have read this book you will go looking for the first.

Linda Hall, Rotorua Daily Post

I Am Rebecca is an indictment of the manipulative power of such cults where the Leaders claim to be instructed by the voice of God, and the members are kept in isolation from the outside world and the opportunity to think for themselves. However, Beale is not disrespectful to those who willingly choose such a life. She is able to enter the minds of the young girls whose lives she is describing and tells of their concerns and beliefs convincingly. Beale's story is compelling and tragic; it moved me to tears.

Margie Michael, New Zealand Books

A riveting story of a teenage girl struggling to emerge from long-term repression and psychological abuse; it will surely become as popular as Esther's tale.

Lorraine Orman, Magpies

This novel is so good I read it in one day. Fleur Beale’s writing is powerful yet so simple. The sentences are short, the chapters are short, the subject is beguiling and the characters stand out like the figures on Mount Rushmore . . . Stunning stuff with a stunning ending.

Bob Bocherty, Bob's Book Blog

Fleur Beale is one of my favourite Kiwi YA authors...I am Rebecca is a follow-up to her bestselling book from1998, I am not Esther...At no stage in the book does Beale let up on the tension, as we follow the sisters through impossible situations with regards to the Rule regarding every aspect of the Children of the Faith and how they manage themselves. The sisters must abase themselves each time they need to tell their Father something, for fear of earning hours of prayer. The tension builds, with death, bad marriage matches and new babies adding to it, until Rebecca begins to doubt, finally, the wisdom of her elders...While I won’t tell you what happens, I will say that Rebecca is a strong and admirable character. You feel that Beale really lets you into the mind of somebody who has grown up within a strict environment such as The Children of the Faith. Beale’s books have dealt with cults several times previously, but always from theoutside looking in, so this is a refreshing point of view.

Sarah Forster, Booksellers Blog

From award-winning author Fleur Beale, I Am Not Esther and I Am Rebecca are gripping psychological thrillers that...[are] guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat.

Girlfriend Magazine

Page turner...Imagine if you weren't allowed to cut your hair, go to the shops or even look in a mirror. This is what life is like for 14-year-old Rebecca who lives in a strict religious cult and is about to be forced into marriage!


a compelling read

Rochelle Gribble, Kiwi Families

Fleur Beale has created a detailed and convincing picture of life in a patriarchal religious community, and her characters are well-described and convincing. Rebecca is a sympathetic narrator who finds herself in an intolerable situation. The moral and ethical dilemma facing Rebecca is a genuine one. The closing chapters of this book are some of the most moving passages in New Zealand children’s literature.

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    August 1, 2014

    RHNZ Children's

    256 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    August 1, 2014

    Random House New Zealand

    272 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

Also by Fleur Beale

I Am Not Esther
Juno Of Taris
Being Magdalene
The Boy In the Olive Grove
Heart Of Danger
End of the Alphabet
Speed Freak


Undercover Princess
Love, Simon
The Getaway: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (BK12)
Everything, Everything
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Our Australian Girl: The Lina Stories
Our Australian Girl: The Rose Stories
La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Tarin of the Mammoths: The Exile (BK1)
The Kissing Booth
Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator
Ranger's Apprentice 4: Oakleaf Bearers
Two Wolves
Twelve Nights
Turtles All the Way Down
George's Marvellous Medicine
I Just Couldn't Wait to Meet You
Alice-Miranda At School 1