Juliana
by Adelle Laudan, contemporary (2006)
Forbidden Publications, $3.99, ISBN N/A


Juliana is a story of a woman who has suffered all kinds of cruelty during her seven-year marriage to an abusive monster. Now, Juliana finds herself suddenly free from his tyranny when he dies in an accident. It's really heartbreaking - the poor dear doesn't even have any clothes to wear because her husband literally kept her chained and under lock and key at his monstrous whims. She doesn't know how to deal with her newfound freedom so she calls her sister Cyndi for the first time in seven years.

It is small consolation after all she has endured under her husband Gary but Juliana realizes that she now has money of her own thanks to Gary's insurance policy. With her sister Cyndi, she starts living again and even finding love.

Juliana is a very short but enjoyable story comparable to some inspirational survivor accounts found in Reader's Digest. The characterization isn't too deep but given the length of this story, I suppose it is enough that the story is told well and does its job adequately in passing on its message to the reader.

However, I'm not sure about what seems like Ojibwan mystical elements mixed with some crystalogy that show up more and more as the story progresses. It's not that I am against reading about these things, it's just that I have no idea what I am reading here since Ms Laudan doesn't fully explain these mystical elements in the story. I won't even compare this story to a recruitment pamphlet because the pamphlet would have more details about the faith than what is present here.

Without the mystical elements, Juliana will be a pleasant bite-sized read, sort of like an appetizer between Catherine Anderson novels. I end up a little bit confused by the way the story turns out, however. Juliana will probably be better off being longer so that there are more room for details or being without the mystical elements altogether.

Rating: 70


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