The competition I ran for Indie Authors Appreciation Week was won by Cathy Bryant, who will shortly receive a signed copy of Neither Here Nor There. Congratulations, Cathy.
In chapter 1 of Neither Here Nor There, Esty, as a first step in the process of leaving the haredi (ultra-orthodox) community in which she was raised, has to phone Avi, who volunteers for an organisation that helps people like Esty.
There were two competition questions:
1. How does the person Esty calls on the phone react when Esty tells him that she wants to leave the haredi community?
Cathy answered: “The man on the phone reacts by carefully explaining the risks, and making sure that Esty understands that she can go back – that she still has a choice. He outlines what might go wrong.”
2. Why do you think he reacts in this way?
Cathy answered: “I got the impression that he was trying to make sure that she knew what she was doing and wasn’t acting on impulse – as a representative of his organisation he has to be responsible. After all, she’s taking a very serious step.”
Both answers are correct. But I wanted to point out something else. The members of the organisation must be aware that they could be accused of tempting young people away from their families and their way of life. They need to make absolutely clear to everyone that they become involved only after the person has made that crucial decision.