Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Land of Decoration - Grace McLeen

My name is Judith McPherson. I am ten years old. On Monday a miracle happened. That is what I'm going to call it. And I did it all. It was because of what Neil Lewis said about putting my head down the toilet. It was because I was frightened. But it was also because I had faith.
The book is narrated by ten year old Judith. She and her father are members of a Christian fundamentalist sect. Her mother is dead. Judith's not like the other children and she's being bullied at school.

She seeks solace in the Land of Decoration, a miniature world built in her bedroom and inspired by the Old Testament's Promised Land. In a bid to avoid further bullying, she covers her miniature world in snow, weather which is unseasonably replicated in the real world. With this, she discovers she can perform miracles. But will anyone believe her? And will the responsibility of playing God be too much to bear?

As Judith's battle with the school bully intensifies and her father crosses the picket lines to work at the factory, her life becomes more and more complicated.

This is a moving book, both sad and funny. I liked seeing the world through Judith's eyes. She's articulate, but not unrealistically so, and her outlook is fresh and original but still innocent of the complexities of the adult world. McLeen was herself brought up in a Christian sect, and she shows us here a group whose beliefs are at odds with the world around them. Judith and her father will be tested by events in the town and will come to question all they've fought for.


  1. Sounds like a fascinating read, Karen. I think this one might go on my 'possibly to buy' list.

    1. This was one of Cathy's recommendations. She knows a good book when she sees one.


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