The League of Lilith: A thriller with soul
By mother and son duo Rosalie Sugrue & Troy Sugrue
By Rosalie and Troy Sugrue
Published: 11 December 2013
Words: 139,930 (approximate)
ISBN: ePub 9781927260203
ISBN: KIndle/mobi 9781927260210
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Sarai, a Biblical Studies lecturer, learns a terrible truth; a core knowledge she must impart to a successor. Will she choose society wife, Jen, or bondage and discipine prostitute Kat? The lives of these two women collide in unexpected ways around Sarai, while in the wings lurk a coven of Wiccan witches, and the dark desires and dealings that threaten Jen’s husband, Wilkin. An explosive novel with a dramatic climax.
Sarai, a Biblical Studies lecturer, learns a great and terrible truth – a core knowledge she must impart to a successor. Will she choose society wife, Jen, or bondage and discipine prostitute Kat? The lives of these two women collide in unexpected ways around Sarai, while in the wings lurk a coven of Wiccan witches, and the dark desires and dealings that threaten Jen’s husband, Wilkin. To what lengths will he go to get the heir he desperately desires?
Has Womenkind surrendered its sacred duty? Does Sarai know the secret to the world’s survival or has a life of radical feminism driven her insane?
Set in pre-quake Christchurch, The League of Lilith is an explosive novel that builds relentlessly to a dramatic climax.
See reader response video here:
Praise for the print edition:
“This is a page-turning book, an intriguing story of a nondominant culture that dips into the myth of Lilith and provides readers with another lens on patriarchal religion. Likable and unlikable, the characters are engaging. Powerful friendships among the women transcend barriers of class and race. The novel draws on current feminist Biblical interpretation in a way that is theologically sound without being didactic. An enthralling yarn, which would be ideal for book group discussion.”
Rev Dr Margaret Mayman, St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington
“…a book that really captures my interest and engages my head and my heart… Do you recognise Lilith of the title? In Jewish mythology she was Adam’s first wife, having been created at the same time and from the same earth as Adam but who left Eden because she refused to become subservient to him. Alternatively, Lilith was regarded as a demon. Many of the writers who contributed to the development of modern-day Wicca express special reverence for Lilith, regarding her as the embodiment of the Goddess and protector of women but who subsequently became demonised due to the rise of patriarchy.
The League of Lilith interweaves themes of women, sexuality, pregnancy and childbirth with chauvinism, and contrasts contemporary attitudes to women with those of the Bible. The story concerns the lives of women from very different backgrounds and their male partners, whose paths intersect in a suspenseful chronicle of relationships. It explores ‘a world obsessed with power and control and the abandonment of the ancient, sacred duty of women.’ The multi-layered, interwoven story is beautifully structured and maintains a cracking pace, with different strands of contemporaneous action intriguingly counter-pointed, while passages of reminiscence inform the motivations of the characters.
The contrasting of Christian, Biblical and Wiccan stories, liturgies and values draws on academic, Biblical and feminist research but the authors neither preach nor denigrate any particular faith message. They also indulge in an occasional bit of fantasy. This is, after all, a novel and not a lecture. As they state, ‘…the scholarship is sound and we hope it gives people food for thought and leads some to realise there are enlightened ways of looking at Scripture, and of course, that caring relationships are the best of human values.’
The League of Lilith is a ripping good yarn but, at the same time, it can stand up proudly among the best of international fiction of relationships, religion and suspense. This is a book to enjoy reading yourself, and which would also make an ideal Christmas gift for someone who enjoys a good story along with concepts to ponder.”
Shirley Dixon, published in Touchstone, November 2011.
About the Authors
Hokitika born Rosalie Sugrue is a wife, mother and grandmother. She is a retired teacher and ex-Dunedin motellier with a background in Bible study. Retired to the Kapiti Coast Rosalie has been active in the Methodist Women’s Fellowship, National Council of Women, Victim Support and U3A. She is a lay preacher and has plays, poems, prayers, Bible puzzles and articles published in many church magazines.
Her latest writing ventures are:
- Sophia & Daughters — a book of meditations and prayers centred round the extended stories of 29 wise women in the Bible. (Steele Roberts, 2013)
- Ten Plays: Short, easy dramas for churches — short plays and meditations that are ideal to present in church. They encourage us to engage with Bible and historical characters, and explore important themes. (Philip Garside Publishing Ltd, 2013) Click for eBook | Print
- Theme Scheme: Creative Ideas, Activities, Games, Puzzles, Plays, Quizzes. a wealth of creative ideas, activities, games, puzzles, plays and quizzes to help plan, organise and lead your group’s programmes. All are fun and practical, requiring minimal equipment, resources and time to prepare.
(Philip Garside Publishing Ltd, 2013) Click for eBook | Print
Troy Sugrue: born and raised in Hokitika; studied dance and music in Dunedin which lead to a decade of touring New Zealand in various bands. He is now married to Jayne with 3 sons, and the Creative Director for the Auckland based events and media company Madant.
wicca, thriller suspense, prostitute, new zealand, feminist fiction, theology and feminism, christchurch cathedral, bondage and discipline