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Judas Tree – Novella One 1. The Judas Tree Novellas

   (2 reviews)
Sub-genres: Suspense, Comedy Modern, Drama

Sometimes evil wears the garb of generosity and 'guidance,' and the young can sense this destructiveness around them. From ages ten to fourteen, Simon has his inherent goodness and resolve tested by the shady undercurrents within the small town where he is growing up. Will he come out on the other side of his adolescence as pure as he went into it? These five novellas will explore questions of faith and Simon's process of becoming a young man.

Ten-year-old Simon is being punished. He thinks hanging his classroom Madonna by a noose tied in the cord of the blinds was just a whim. But, as he stands alone in the empty classroom, recent events tell him otherwise.
**the protagonist encounters the victims and perpetrators of child-abuse, though he is not victimized himself**
Please join in on the Judas Tree discussion forum here: http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/39389-judas-tree-by-ac-benus/
Copyright © 2014 AC Benus; All Rights Reserved.

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William King

   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

I find it simply amazing that an author can recall and put into words the thoughts and feelings of a nine year old boy. The exactitude of the descriptions place you, the reader, inside that child’s head, looking out on the world through his eyes. Such is the power of these words that you cannot fail to be taken right back to your own childhood, when suddenly you realise, it was exactly like that.


Perhaps I am biased, because of the emotions and reminiscences it evoked for me, but even if this is the case, you could not fail to appreciate the beautifully crafted descriptions. Just as you could not fail to see the world through the eyes of that child and live those experiences as he attempts to resolve the bitter and cruel truths one learns as one grows up.


I was deeply touched by the skill with which the author could evoke what might only be described as terrible evil, and yet such dreadful things were there presented to the reader, but never indulged. Like horrifying whispers they were undeniably in front of you and could not be ignored, but were so very much more powerful through a sort of understatement.


The story might be sad, but it’s truth and power easily overcomes this to let a light of hope shine through – a light that shines through the eyes of Simon and of Jake, and also his younger brother Jeremy. I highly recommend this book, or novella series, I do not believe anyone would read this and remain untouched. 

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Timothy M.

· Edited by Timothy M.

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

We first meet Simon, the main character of Judas Tree, as he is being punished for a silly prank in school. While he looks back on the events which led him to this moment, he is reminded of significant encounters in the past. Slowly he and we gain an understanding of what caused the inexplicable but symbolic act of rebellion against authority.

Be prepared to hold your breath from worry, grind your teeth in anger and wrinkle your brow in speculation. Because this story has our innocent hero facing a number of dangers, enemies and wrongs. The behavior of people and various events are puzzling to Simon, while we as adults know the grim truth. Helpless we watch him come close to the brink and we hope or even pray for him to get out of the situation safe and sound, both physically and spiritually.

Embark on the Judas Tree series here and follow Simon through every subsequent novella and you'll know why I’m grateful to have made the acquaintance of this pure-hearted boy who is a beacon of love and devotion.

This review is a shorter version of my first Featured Story blog review.

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