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A bizarre, but very New Zealand, world, Jonathan Lane

Daughter of Gloriavale: My Life in a Religious Cult
Lilia Tarawa
Allen and Unwin, $37.00,
ISBN 9781760631499

Lilia Tarawa’s memoir, Daughter of Gloriavale, paints her childhood somewhere between an idyllic summer camp in the country and the winged bonnets and forced procreation of The Handmaid’s Tale. Tarawa grew up in Gloriavale, a fundamentalist Christian community nestled in prime moss-growing conditions on the West Coast, subject of a recent set of TV2 documentaries. Gloriavale is managed by male elders, roles defined strictly by gender, and closed off from the world, except for occasional trips to the Gomorrahs of Greymouth and Christchurch. Tarawa is a granddaughter of the original founder, Hopeful Christian, who runs Gloriavale with an iron fist and a disturbing criminal record. 

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