Truth triumphs over falsehood. An engaging novel that restores the deceived.
One of the things I hate most is being lied to, especially by people I trust and I think that goes for most people. So, readers will quickly identify with the central theme of this novel which is to expose deception in a fictional, yet highly insightful way. People hate to be made out to be a fool and readers will be gripped by the anguish of a community coming to terms with what is going on behind closed doors. But is much more than just an exposé.
How often do we choose to give people the benefit of the doubt, when deep down we are aware they are pulling the wool over our eyes? It’s frustrating, it’s subversive and yet it is happening more and more in today’s world and that’s why we need more books like this one.
Simon Dillon, a prolific writer who has produced a number of children’s adventure stories, now grips the mature reader in Children of the Folded Valley. The children are the book’s central figure James Harper who narrates the story, his sister Jessica and their friends Miranda and Paul. But, this is a book for adults, exposing the clandestine community in which they live, a place tucked away in time and space and inaccessible to the world we know, which is referred to as ‘the Fallen Dimension’.
Despite some mysterious sci-fi twists and turns, Children of the Folded Valley blows the lid on secret cults that seek to entrap vulnerable people and cause them to live a lie. The author retraces James’ memories growing up in a secluded region where nothing is as it seems. In a dramatic chain of events he is forced to come to terms with the blind deception he and his family find themselves under in a secluded, cultish community.
The book reminded me of the David Koresh scandal in the 1990s when his ‘Branch Davidian’ compound was destroyed by the US Government in Waco, Texas. But, that happened, in America where such cults have thrived. This novel is set in rural England and it is shocking to think that such intimidation, torture in the name of religion could go unchecked by the British authorities.
Simon boldly lifts the lid on how modern cults operate, how people are sucked in, manipulated and controlled to do the leader’s bidding even when it goes against their conscience. He illustrates how some people will keep on believing a lie to avoid their whole world from crashing around them. Such is the nature of deceit.
In addition to the children in the story there are several adult characters that the author has woven into the narrative. Some are funny, others tragic, as well as the insidious and the evil. Some you feel sorry for, others remind you of real life faith leaders, who are arrogant and misguided and who have sadly let the side down.
Deception entraps, but Children of the Folded Valley show how there is hope for the deceived, if they are brave enough to face the truth and save themselves from impending disaster. And even painful childhood memories that have left James with awful scars, can be turned around in adulthood. James discovers it’s not too late to replace a prized possession, given to him by his father and cruelly snatched from him in childhood. Along with this he also finds the ability to start trusting others, once again.
An eye-opening book / exposé.
Surprisingly James comes out of this cultish experience a better person, who is able to determine truth for himself, who does not reject that which is good, but is able to throw out all that is bad. This is an eye-opening book that is not only entertaining, but thought-provoking, helping the reader to avoid being deceived by anybody. It also has poignant glimpses into the importance of the father child relationship and what a difference this can make in helping children come to know their Heavenly Father. He is the Father of truth. In Him there are no lies.