Friday, May 4, 2012

The Seventh Messenger-Carol Costa

The Seventh Messenger

Carol Costa

Anaphora Literary Press, Jun 13 2011, $15.00

ISBN: 9781463561024

Naomi was born in the House of David religious community in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Now, as an adult, with her always emotionally distant mom dying, she has returned to learn whether the founder Benjamin Franklin Purnell was her father. She demands Benjamin’s widow Mary to tell her the truth with no omissions or deceptions.

Mary begins her story back five decades ago to the turn of the century when Benjamin said the Spirit of the Lord told him that he was the Seventh Messenger while their convicted leader of the Holy Rollers Michael Mills was false. He became King Benjamin and she Queen Mary of the House of David religious commune. In 1903 they moved to Benton Harbor where they created a place to live, an amusement park, an orchestra, a zoo, and a baseball team with a park, etc. Sex was prohibited even between married couples. The only exception to the rule was King David and his Inner Circle of girls under the age of sixteen who needed purification. One Inner Circle girl became pregnant and planned to destroy the reign of King Benjamin.

This is an exciting insightful novelization of the creation and twenty plus years (up to the trial and death of Benjamin) of the House Of David. Mary is a terrific narrator who understood her late husband’s strengths as a charismatic leader who got people to believe and his serpent in Eden endeavors as she tells Naomi what happened to him and her mom hoping to bring some sunshine into the younger woman’s life. Character driven to include the commune, Carol Costa provides a deep twentieth century historical in which Mary’s salvation of the ruins of Eden and the City of David, still thrives.

Harriet Klausner

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