95 books like Daughter of Gloriavale

By Lilia Tarawa,

Here are 95 books that Daughter of Gloriavale fans have personally recommended if you like Daughter of Gloriavale. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Rocco

Fleur Beale Author Of Juno of Taris

From my list on young people trapped by draconian rules.

Who am I?

I’m a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand and I’ve always been drawn to stories of struggle, especially where a character fights against outside control. I started writing for the high school students I was teaching and got hooked on the YA genre. I love it partly because it crosses all genres – I can write about a 14-year-old girl trying to live in a repressive religious cult but I can also write about a 15-year-old boy who’s a champion kart driver. Karting at top level takes enormous skill as I discovered, but it also has room for dirty tricks.

Fleur's book list on young people trapped by draconian rules

Fleur Beale Why did Fleur love this book?

I loved this book when it came out in 1990 and I still love it. Rocco has disturbing dreams of being in a primitive, cave-dwelling society then shockingly the dreams become reality. He must learn to live with the people who struggle to survive in a harsh landscape. He learns to hunt with primitive weapons just as he must learn how to live with the people he’s found himself amongst. But why has he ended up here? There’s something amiss with this life and the wise woman seems to hold the key but she won’t tell him. When he finds himself back home recovering from bubonic plague he has to find the answer.

Rocco is a book I wished I’d written! The story is fascinating with its well-researched depiction of surviving in a harsh environment without modern technology or tools. Also, the plot is clever – how is it that…

By Sherryl Jordan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rocco as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of The Bridge

Paula Weston Author Of The Undercurrent

From my list on YA set in Australia – but not quite as we know it.

Who am I?

I’m Australian and there’s a big place in my heart for Australian-set stories. I read mostly for escapism, but there’s a deeper connection with tales from my own backyard. I’ve also always loved speculative fiction – everything from epic and paranormal fantasy to space opera and dystopian thrillers – and I’m excited when my favourite genres and setting come together. My day job is in local government. I’ve seen how government decisions can impact the trajectory of a society, and I’m particularly drawn to stories that explore that theme. I’m the author of five speculative fiction novels with Australian settings: the four novels in The Rephaim series (supernatural fantasy) and The Undercurrent (slightly futuristic/pre-apocalyptic). 

Paula's book list on YA set in Australia – but not quite as we know it

Paula Weston Why did Paula love this book?

I cried at the end of this brilliantly crafted novel about the futility of war.

It shows how an unnamed society might respond to ongoing conflict. Both sides have de-humanised the other; both are committed to revenge and retribution for the daily tragedies; and groups on both sides believe there can’t be peace without the total subjugation of the other.

I really appreciate how Nik’s worldview is shaken – and ultimately widened – when he crosses into enemy territory to find a captured friend. This story is a lesson in how peace can never come without justice, or empathy, told through great characters, gripping plot, and nail-biting tension.

(I imagine the unspecified city as being in Australia/New Zealand – the author is from NZ.)

By Jane Higgins,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Bridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The City is divided. The bridges gated. In Southside, the hostiles live in squalor and desperation, waiting for a chance to overrun the residents of Cityside.
 
Nik is still in high school but is destined for a great career with the Internal Security and Intelligence Services, the brains behind the war. But when ISIS comes recruiting, everyone is shocked when he isn't chosen. There must be an explanation, but no one will talk about it. Then the school is bombed and the hostiles take the bridges. Buildings are burning, kids are dead, and the hostiles have kidnapped Sol. Now ISIS…


Book cover of Violet Black

Fleur Beale Author Of Juno of Taris

From my list on young people trapped by draconian rules.

Who am I?

I’m a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand and I’ve always been drawn to stories of struggle, especially where a character fights against outside control. I started writing for the high school students I was teaching and got hooked on the YA genre. I love it partly because it crosses all genres – I can write about a 14-year-old girl trying to live in a repressive religious cult but I can also write about a 15-year-old boy who’s a champion kart driver. Karting at top level takes enormous skill as I discovered, but it also has room for dirty tricks.

Fleur's book list on young people trapped by draconian rules

Fleur Beale Why did Fleur love this book?

Violet Black is the first book in a trilogy set in the near future. Violet Black and Ethan Wright are both in a coma after contracting the lethal M-fever. They have never met:

I couldn’t speak, but I was trying so hard to communicate and then... then... I pushed. And something, someone, pushed back. Her name is Violet. Violet, but she is sunshine-yellow, and I need to find her because I think she might be just like me.

But there is a far more serious reason for Ethan to find Violet: the sinister Foundation is trying to hunt them down.

Violet Black in the first book of a trilogy where Violet must fight for her sanity and her freedom from those who want to control her. It’s always wonderful when you’ve got captured by a story and its characters to know that there are more books to come. I love…

By Eileen Merriman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Violet Black as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The first book in the Black Spiral Trilogy

Set in the near future, this first book in a fast-paced trilogy will hook you in from the first page.

Violet Black and Ethan Wright are both in a coma after contracting the lethal M-fever. They have never met-

I couldn't speak, but I was trying so hard to communicate and then . . . then . . .
I pushed. And something, someone, pushed back.
Her name is Violet. Violet, but she is sunshine-yellow, and I need to find her because I think she might be just like me.

But there…


Book cover of Displaced

Fleur Beale Author Of Juno of Taris

From my list on young people trapped by draconian rules.

Who am I?

I’m a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand and I’ve always been drawn to stories of struggle, especially where a character fights against outside control. I started writing for the high school students I was teaching and got hooked on the YA genre. I love it partly because it crosses all genres – I can write about a 14-year-old girl trying to live in a repressive religious cult but I can also write about a 15-year-old boy who’s a champion kart driver. Karting at top level takes enormous skill as I discovered, but it also has room for dirty tricks.

Fleur's book list on young people trapped by draconian rules

Fleur Beale Why did Fleur love this book?

Displaced is a historical young adult novel rich in detail, atmosphere, and life of a family in New Zealand in the early 1870s.

The main character Eloise is courageous in the way she copes with her life being torn apart by the men she trusted and believed in.

The fate of women in this time in history is completely held by the men of the family.

I loved the characters and I adore historical novels. This one is set in New Zealand when none of the Pakeha (white) settlers had heard the Maori name for the country of Aotearoa. Eloise, the protagonist is a young woman who is forced to forge her own way in an alien society filled with several different, and often conflicting, alien cultures to her. The research the author has done is impeccable so that it’s possible to immerse yourself in the fascinating but difficult life…

By Cristina Sanders,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Displaced as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

An enthralling historical novel of immigration, courage and first love from an award-winning New Zealand author.

Eloise and her family must leave Cornwall on a treacherous sea journey to start a new life in 1870s colonial New Zealand. On the ship across, Eloise meets Lars, a Norwegian labourer travelling below decks, and their lives begin to intertwine. When her brother disappears, her father leaves and the family are left to fend for themselves in their new home, Eloise must find the strength to stand up for what she believes in and the people she loves.


Book cover of Children of Paradise

Liam Bell Author Of The Sleepless

From my list on communes and cults.

Who am I?

I don’t think I’m alone in considering cults and those who join cults fascinating, but I’ve also always found it frustrating when non-fiction accounts or documentaries focus on the logistics of how the communes operate rather than finding out the why. Why do people join a cult, why do they stay, why do they follow increasingly erratic and dangerous instruction? For me, researching cults for my new novel The Sleepless – about a commune whose disciples believe that sleep is a social construct – was about finding out about the characters, the individuals, who are drawn into organisations which often ask you to relinquish that self-same sense of individuality.

Liam's book list on communes and cults

Liam Bell Why did Liam love this book?

This novel reimagines the events of the Jonestown massacre with lushly beautiful prose and a magical realist twist that offers the possibility of escape and redemption from the most horrific circumstances.

It’s a wonderfully immersive story that sucks you in with sensory detail and a hope-against-hope that the main characters won’t “drink the Kool-Aid”. One of those books where you need to sit still and catch your breath after turning the last page…

By Fred D'Aguiar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Children of Paradise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed novelist, playwright, and poet Fred D’Aguiar has been short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize in poetry for Bill of Rights, his narrative poem about the Jonestown massacre, and won the Whitbread First Novel Award for The Longest Memory. In this beautifully imagined work of literary fiction, he returns to the territory of Jim Jones’s utopian commune, interweaving magical realism and shocking history into a resonant story of love, faith, oppression, and sacrifice in which a mother and daughter attempt to break free with the help of an extraordinary gorilla.

Joyce and her young daughter, Trina, are members of a…


Book cover of I Am Not Esther

Mandy Hager Author Of Singing Home The Whale

From my list on Aotearoa New Zealand's top writers for young adults.

Who am I?

I love Aotearoa New Zealand books! Our writers are brave, feisty, original - and living in ‘the land of the long white cloud’ at the bottom of the globe gives us a unique take on the world that permeates through everything we write. But we struggle to get our voices heard internationally, so far from the rest of you! This is your chance to push out your boundaries and explore stories that derive from a culture very different from your own, while sharing the same human emotions that bring us all together. As one of these writers, I challenge you to check us out – you won’t be disappointed!

Mandy's book list on Aotearoa New Zealand's top writers for young adults

Mandy Hager Why did Mandy love this book?

This gripping psychological thriller centers around a girl who is caught up in a religious cult, her name changed and all her supports ripped away. How will she survive this? Will she be able to escape? Still in print after 20 years, this book won the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book 2009.

By Fleur Beale,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Am Not Esther as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A classic bestseller that's been in print for over 20 years, this gripping YA thriller follows a teenage girl caught in a religious cult.

Imagine that your mother tells you she's going away. She is going to leave you with relatives you've never heard of - and they are members of a strict religious cult. Your name is changed, and you are forced to follow the severe set of social standards set by the cult. There is no television, no radio, no newspaper. No mirrors. You must wear long, modest clothes. You don't know where your mother is, and you…


Book cover of Somewhere to Belong

Catherine Richmond Author Of The Shelter of Each Other

From my list on communes and cults in the 19th century.

Who am I?

The Loess Hills of Iowa provide a great place to hike, with leg-stretching hills and diverse species of plants and animals, and a park with the unusual name Preparation Canyon. In 1853 a small band of Mormons built a commune called Preparation. Leader Charles Blancher Thompson kept his printing press busy, publishing over a thousand pages. Few of those pages told about those who lived there. The Shelter of Each Other is the story of the people of Preparation, brought to you by a writer whose imagination fills in blanks and connects the dots.

Catherine's book list on communes and cults in the 19th century

Catherine Richmond Why did Catherine love this book?

The Amana Colonies were the most successful communes in the United States, active from 1856 to 1932.

Elected boards groups of elders made decisions and mediated conflicts. Members worked in a variety of industries. Women managed large kitchens and dining rooms. Visitors, hired laborers, and homeless people were welcome.

Amana was settled by Germans; residents suffered from anti-German violence during World War I. 

Why did the Amana Colonies survive so long when the Preparation group and others lasted only a few years? Amana’s decisions were made by groups and Amana’s spiritual life was anchored in faith and worship.

By Judith Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Somewhere to Belong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages inhabited by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she's always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in the community. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered and she is forced to make difficult choices about a new life and the man she left behind.

Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, and when her parents decide they want a…


Book cover of Slonim Woods 9: A Memoir

Emily Paulson Author Of Hey, Hun: Sales, Sisterhood, Supremacy, and the Other Lies Behind Multilevel Marketing

From my list on nonfiction about cults, scams, and schemes.

Who am I?

I spent 7 years in a commercial cult. I was indoctrinated into, rose to the top of, and finally escaped from a multilevel marketing company. When I started my exit, I wondered how I had become so brainwashed, which led me to do research into coercive control. I started to understand that different types of authoritarian control; behavior, information, thought, and emotional, drove me further into the cult and away from my outside friends and family. I read as many cult books and watched as many documentaries as I could find, and became fascinated with uncovering why people find themselves in the same situation I was in.  

Emily's book list on nonfiction about cults, scams, and schemes

Emily Paulson Why did Emily love this book?

Once again I became interested in a book thanks to a documentary!

When I watched the documentary about Sarah Lawrence College, I wanted to know more. Daniel Barban Levin’s story really demonstrates how a fragile young mind can be influenced by someone with sinister intentions.

He vividly describes his time spent with a manipulative cult leader (Larry Ray), and his narrative disturbingly shows us just how easily something like this could've happened to us. Very sadly relatable, for people who lose their voice when they fall victim to gaslighting or abusive friends, mentors, or partners. 

By Daniel Barban Levin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slonim Woods 9 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An “extraordinary” (Nylon) firsthand account of the creation of a modern cult and the costs paid by its young victims: a group of college roommates
 
“Intense . . . [a tale] of hard-won survival, and creating a life after the unimaginable.”—Salon

The inspiration for the Hulu docuseries Stolen Youth, directed by Zach Heinzerling and co-produced by Daniel Barban Levin

In September 2010, at the beginning of the academic year at Sarah Lawrence College, a sophomore named Talia Ray asked her roommates if her father could stay with them for a while. No one objected. Her father, Larry Ray, was just…


Book cover of Mystic and Rider

Lena Nguyen Author Of We Have Always Been Here

From my list on sci-fi and fantasy books with unusual found families.

Who am I?

As a writer and independent game developer, I’ve always adored “families of choice:” motley crews of strangers drawn together by circumstance and whose bonds are strengthened to an indestructible degree by the trials they face together. This passion has manifested both in my favorite stories (The Lord of the Rings, The Walking Dead, Mass Effect) as well as the ones I write myself! After teaching writing at Cornell University, where I also earned my MFA in Fiction, I turned my sights on my own creative projects, all of which invariably feature weird found families (a robot crew and the human misfits accompanying them; two assassins and an escaped mind-reading slave; et cetera). 

Lena's book list on sci-fi and fantasy books with unusual found families

Lena Nguyen Why did Lena love this book?

I absolutely love Sharon Shinn’s writing, both her luscious, sophisticated prose and the way she writes relationships between characters. She hits the perfect balance between well-planned, interesting plots, rich fantasy worlds, and the exact right amount of romantic subplot and character development.

This bookwhich follows a group of magic-wielding mystics and the reluctant, militaristic King’s Riders assigned to protect them as they travel the land, investigating a rise in anti-magic sentimentis my favorite of her books, not least because it has some of the coziest found family dynamics and campfire friendships to be found outside of classics like The Lord of the Rings!

By Sharon Shinn,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mystic and Rider as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gillengaria seethes with unrest. In the south, hostility toward magic and its users has risen to a dangerous level, though King Baryn has ordered that such mystics are to be tolerated. It is whispered that he issued the decree because his new wife used her magic powers to ensnare him…

The King knows there are those in the noble Twelve Houses who could use this growing dissent to overthrow him. So he dispatches the mystic Senneth to assess the threat throughout the realm. Accompanying her is a motley band of magic-users and warriors including Tayse, first among the King’s Riders—who…


Book cover of The Boatman's Daughter

David Allen Voyles Author Of Tales from the Hearse: Thirteen Tales of Spine-Tingling Terror

From my list on horror you’ve probably never heard of but should.

Who am I?

I have loved Halloween horror my whole life. As a teacher of literature, I always looked forward to October when I had a green light to incorporate the greatest horror authors into my lessons. The desire to share new horror stories did not fade when I retired. There are so many wonderful new authors of horror it’s impossible to read them all! But there’s also a lot of trash out there—I know, I’ve read it! My lifelong love of spooky things and my background in literature make me confident that I won’t be steering readers wrong when they look to me for the best new reads in horror.

David's book list on horror you’ve probably never heard of but should

David Allen Voyles Why did David love this book?

Through his magnificent prose, Andy Davidson reveals a wonderfully terrifying mythology as he tells the story of Miranda Crabtree, a strong young woman orphaned in the rugged bayou country of Arkansas. Aside from caring for herself in the harshest of environments, Miranda looks after one of the most unique characters I’ve ever experienced. I reluctantly refuse to say more about that relationship since I don’t want to give any spoilers. Despite its dark, fairy tale vibe, The Boatman’s Daughter includes modern threats for Miranda like drug-dealing thugs and corrupt cops, but the supernatural has a strong, constant brooding presence. If you especially like tough, female protagonists as I do, this story fits the bill.

By Andy Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boatman's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda's peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.

With the heady myth making of Neil Gaiman and the heartrending pacing of Joe Hill, Andy Davidson spins a thrilling tale of love and duty, of loss and discovery. The Boatman's Daughter is a gorgeous, horrifying novel, a journey into the dark corners of…


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