Abomination (novel)

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Abomination
Robert Swindells - Abomination.jpeg
First edition
Author Robert Swindells
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Doubleday
Publication date
1998
Pages 208
ISBN 0-385-40854-4 [1]

Abomination (1998) is a novel by the author Robert Swindells, dealing with themes of Religious extremism, Adolescence, Bullying, and relationships, as well as integrating the intriguing question of what its title refers to.

Plot[edit]

Martha is a 12 year old girl. She leads a life that is anything but too normal or not so normal compared to the others. Martha and her parents belong to a strict religious group called the Righteous.(In Christianity) The Righteous is a religion that believes in the God that was portrayed in the Old Testament, the God who killed, the God who brought disease. Martha hates this religion. Because of its rules Martha is not allowed any trendy clothes, no television and no computer or any other fancy gadgets...and worst of all no friends. Martha wants to have all of these things but she cannot. Martha lives with homemade clothes for school and for home, never had junk food in her life or any other modern stuff. Her school life is worse than her home life. She is chased home every night by Simon Pritchard (the school bully) and his gang. While they chase her they are all chanting "Raggedy-Ann, Raggedy-Ann we'll scrag you if we can". The only electrical item she owns is a radio, which she is not allowed to listen to. Their religion has this prohibited. Her parents follow the strict religion. Because Martha has none of these privileges, she has no friends. She used to get invited by the righteous kids but she and her family were against calling them to their table.

However, Martha's luck changes when a new boy Scott arrives and smiles at her, which in Martha's case is a huge hope that they could be friends. Because of a simple gesture of lending her a ruler, a big friendship is born. But to Martha's disappointment she is chased home by him with Simon and the rest of his gang. Later on though, Scott sees Martha looking in her bag for something. He asked her what she is looking for, she tells him she has forgotten her ruler. Scott lends Martha his ruler but when he gets it back one of Simon's gang tells him that he should burn it but he ignores her. As Scott becomes closer to Martha, his best friend Simon starts to notice, so he starts bullying Scott as well as Martha. Scott's and Martha's relationship grows stronger and Martha eventually has the courage to tell Scott about abomination, her nephew.(JIM) Scott was shocked when he heard this, and asked her to tell in detail. Scott accuses Mary that she shouldn’t have done this to her son. Martha seems and tells him that Mary didn't know this. She was told by her parents that the child would be adopted. However, this did not happen the child was sent into the cellar and treated like an animal, like Martha.(her parents had child abuse * 2, Martha and her nephew, Jim) Her parents did not even give him a proper name and called it abomination till now. Mary was kicked out of her house because she had a child before marriage. Martha also revels to Scott about her father giving the rod.

However, upon her discovery of her family's moving, Martha rebels against it, and is sent to her room for days. However, she manages to send Scott a message, not to Scott himself, but pinned to a fence outside her house, taking a large risk of being caught by her parents. The note tells Scott not to knock, but instead to wait for Mary until Monday. She waits for days but without reply. At the same time, Scott actually receives a reply, however Mary calls him sick. Scott decides to talk like Martha would; mentioning the way Mary calls Martha "Marfa", like her best friend Annette, and mentions a fountain in Birmingham, where her last postcard was sent from. Scott tries calling, however he knew Martha's father would not listen, so he repeats the same message three times so that her father would memorize it and angrily shouts it in front of Martha, knowing the message is from Scott. Eventually Scott decides to go to see Martha, but is discouraged when he sees Martha in a car; however it was Mary and Annette's car - Mary rescued Abomination, her son after all.

In the last chapter it is revealed that the child is now called Jim and that Martha actually buys her own clothes now; it is also stated that when she learns to use the Internet, as Annette promises her that she'll teach her she will e-mail Scott.

References[edit]