Miriam is desperate. Her mind is a fog of drug-induced forgetfulness. She has forgotten her past, her family, even who she is. But who is the disturbingly familiar girl in the shopping centre?Enmeshed in Soleternity, a cult in the Queensland outback, Miriam is pregnant, She believes her future - and that of her baby- lies with the cult.Miriam loves Sol…but is Sol good andMiriam is desperate. Her mind is a fog of drug-induced forgetfulness. She has forgotten her past, her family, even who she is. But who is the disturbingly familiar girl in the shopping centre?Enmeshed in Soleternity, a cult in the Queensland outback, Miriam is pregnant, She believes her future - and that of her baby- lies with the cult.Miriam loves Sol…but is Sol good and inspired, or a ruthless cult leader?Bronwyn is determined to rescue Miriam. She has not bargained on falling in love with the journalist helping her.Away from Soleternity, Miriam faces conflicts. Sol…Soleternity… and now Anna and Christianity. How can she know the truth? Who is to be trusted?A story of hope. A journey from desperation to peace and joy....
|Number of Pages||:||230 Pages|
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Three and a half stars. The striking cover sets the scene for this interesting novel about a woman who is absorbed into Soleternity, a cult set up in the Queensland outback. Using drugs and hypnosis the cult leaders have managed to make Miriam forget her family and her past.Greta, another who has gone into the cult, is now questioning much that occurs. Bronwyn, Miriam’s long time friend from her past life, seeks to rescue Miriam and expose the cult. Will she be able to without endangering Miriam? Or will Miriam, who is pregnant, refuse to leave or even become absorbed further into the cult? Miriam needs to find the truth but how can she know what is true and what is not? Who can she trust? This sets up interesting scenarios.This novel is a bit outside my normal reading but I found it to be an enjoyable read, although at times I get a bit frustrated with Miriam and her willingness to believe all she is told and let people manipulate her. Still that shows that I was interested in her as a character. I also liked Bronwyn, Anna and Steve. Steve is the journalist Bronwyn meets, who seeks to help expose the cult for what it is. The characters are well drawn. I wasn’t convinced the epilogue was necessary, but maybe that’s just me.Those who enjoy Christian fiction should enjoy this novel. It gives plenty of things to think about.Thanks to the author for my copy to read and review.I congratulate the author on tackling a difficult topic.
I wasn't sure if I would like this book so it did take me a little while to get to read this book but then I started it and would put it down only to pick it up within a few minutes. I read the book in one Saturday afternoon and wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. This is a book I would recommend others read as it deals with how easy it is for people to get involved in a cult but how hard it is to leave and when you do leave how hard it is to break ties with the cult. I loved Miriam's struggle and felt for her. Through the book Jeanette explains how someone trying to break away from a cult feels and shows thought patterns. Besides being a great book this is a great tool for everyone to better educate them about cults or also if you know someone dealing with a family member or friend in a cult give them hope. This is one of my top reads so far for this year.
Jeanette Grant-Thomson's Mirage follows Miriam (Brooke) caught up in a particularly controlling cult, fellow cult member Greta, who is increasingly become cynical about the cult's hypnotic leader Sol (Solomon) and Bronwyn, Miriam's best friend, who wants to help Miriam to escape. Miriam (now Brooke), pregnant to the Soleternity's leader, Solomon, loves the peace and safety of the cult's headquarters, an oasis of calm in the middle of the dessert, but she is confused and has huge gaps in her memory. Her friend Greta surreptitiously avoids taking the mind numbing drugs dished out daily to Soleterniy's Chosen but, despite her doubts, feels she belongs to the community in a way she never has before. When Miriam's best friend, Bronwyn, sees her in the shopping centre, she thinks she has seen a ghost as Miriam's death in a tragic car accident has been reported in the papers. She contacts Steve, an engaging and energetic journalist, whose subsequent investigative visit to Soleternity puts pressure on the cult's leaders. Will Miriam be able to escape from the cult, and more importantly, free her mind from delusion? Will she be able to trust again? And what is the difference between extreme, manipulative cults and Christian faith and the church? Jeanette Grant-Thomson bases her fictional story on research and the stories of people who have escaped from cults. She does a good job of exploring the motivations which trap people in such groups and keep them there; the tactics used to exploit and control. She also asks some pertinent questions. While Miriam is passive and confused for much of the story, she is an understandable and sympathetic character. Greta, Bronwyn, Steve and Anna (Miriam's aunt/foster mother) are also likable. Bronwyn's encounter with Miriam in the shopping centre grabs the attention and there are a number of dramatic moments throughout the book (particularly in the first half), that kept me turning the pages. I did find that the shifting point of view and the long passages of often repetitive introspection tended to slow down the story. While the romantic plot between Bronwyn and Steve was sweet, it was very much a subplot, and tended to distract a bit from the main plot. I wondered if we could have seen more of Miriam's life in the cult and whether we needed such a sustained focus of her (SPOIlERS) reintegration back into the life her family and church. I also found the strong and often abrupt focus on spiritual journeys of Greta, Bronwyn, Steve and Miriam a little too forced. I thought the question about the difference between a manipulative and controlling cult - and caring and supportive church communities and religious faith - one well worth exploring but would have appreciate this being shown more subtly through relationships and interactions than told by repeated statements.While cults similar to the fictional Soleternity seem less relevant (or are less reported) at the present time, the methods they use to recruit, to 'brain wash' and to control may well have many parallels with radicalization of young people by terrorists groups. From this point of view, Mirage is an interesting book though I did struggle with it in parts, particularly in the second half.
Mirage by Jeanette Grant-Thomson is a fascinating read. Jeanette's portrayal of life in a cult was convincing. The decisions characters made in joining the cult and their decisions to stay or leave all made sense in the light of their backgrounds. The story was engaging and easy to read. It had drama, tension and a touch of romance. I also enjoyed the spiritual aspects and liked the way Jeanette weave this into the storyline.The cult Jeanette created was a particularly corrupt one but I'm sure they exist. Nevertheless all cults would have similarities with the one Jeanette describes. Cults often attract those from broken or dysfunctional home who are looking for a sense of belonging and security. Often the 'converts' are like Miriam who abdicate decision making and want someone to take on their responsibilities. I found Miriam's struggles to leave the cult realistic and well depicted.Most of the information I have previously read about cults has been in non-fiction biographies so I found it very interesting to have this subject explored in a fictional setting from multiple points of view. It shows the ripple effect on the families and friends of those involved. There is a little 'head hopping' in the book but I didn't find this too distracting. Overall an enjoyable read.Thanks Jeanette for providing a free book for review.
Just finished reading Mirage and really enjoyed it! Very engaging characters and an interesting journey back for Miriam. I really enjoyed the variety of people affected by and involved in Miriam's journey and I enjoyed the different experiences they go through. Thanks for a great read. :)I tend to like books written from different points of view and certainly found this book to be an interesting read. I was very keen to pick it up again and find out what would happen next and felt it was quite a realistic and satisfying ending, with a hint of things to come.