For a Fee of Two Shillings
Superficial village life conceals facts locals prefer not to acknowledge
In her book "For a Fee of Two Shillings" (ISBN 1456578391) Faye Whittaker attempts to show the often naïve hypocrisy of those populating a typically conventional village.
The story is set in a post-WWII coastal township in Taranaki, New Zealand, a country known for the peaceful co-existence of its people. Whittaker, a born New Zealander claims while this is mostly true, if one is prepared to look deep enough, he or she can find life is not always as it seems.
The story untangles the mystery surrounding the life and death of Miri, a high-born Maori maiden. Growing up within a concoction of cultural myths, legends and self-imposed beliefs, Miri is unduly influenced by the descendants of British settlers who form the majority of the local church congregation. She develops a confused perception of a so-called Christian society that owns a "white is superior" attitude.
Miri's adopted assumptions of society generate havoc. She creates a partially self-imposed feeling of inferiority; for her royal birth ensures total reverence toward her by her own people. As part of a series of irrational life-actions, she seduces into marriage a man who occupies a Jesus persona, that she discovers at great cost is only skin deep. She is treated in a cruel and demeaning manner by this man, and is shunned by others she thought had cared.
Not even Miri's death can stop her husband's malicious behavior. Their 14-year old daughter Emma is forced to suffer the tyrannical actions of her father, before ultimately being raped by him. Fortunately Emma is befriended by an aging lawyer, and the two begin to search for answers to her heritage, uncovering the truth about her mother, and a whole lot more.
Whittaker believes the unravelling of Miri's life-story is something many of her readers can relate to because often times, those who challenge the socially or culturally accepted norms are tormented, ignored or worse, ostracized. She also states that religious or spiritual beliefs and family relationships outside the majority's accepted view can cause disruption in a community because of the expectations, bigotry and prejudice that lay beneath the guise of harmony, racial or otherwise.
"For a Fee of Two Shillings" is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
About the Author: Faye Whittaker has authored four books. "For a Fee of Two Shillings" is her first novel. Two of her previous works discuss her research of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition she was diagnosed with in 1992. Although born in New Zealand, travel to third-world countries of differing political and religious ideals has had an enormous impact on Whittaker's life-view. Also, Whittaker's role as the director of a tertiary education organization has revealed to her, many aspects of the human psyche.