When I was asked to review Leah by Amanda Bedzrah, I did not hesitate. I love books, I love writing, I love most writers. Helping a fellow-writer out is not a chore. When I saw the subtitle, I was even more enthusiastic. Who has not ever felt unnoticed, unwanted or unloved? Then I heard the genre: biblical fiction. Oops. Not exactly in the cup of tea of my unreligious being.
I thought about it some more. I have not always been unreligious. I mean, as a child I wanted to become a nun. I was always reading my book of bible stories in our garden on Aotearoa Terrace in Murray's Bay (NZ). That was before I decided to step away from the institution church and their God and create my own spiritual life. I deeply believe in intuition and being guided, just not by any church's God. I loved my bible stories so I decided to give it a go, see where Leah would take me.
First thing I did was find my 50-year-old copy of those bible stories in our house, which now stands in the Netherlands. I am not giving anything away if I say this is what it said on Leah:
"When the ceremony was over and the bride lifted her heavy veil, it wasn't beautiful Rachel -- it was plain Leah."
Amanda Bedzrah's characters sparkle from the page, much like herself.