The Traitor’s Child: Mark Townsend
Life takes on many different turns and forms but what happens when you live your entire life in fear and despair? Nuns are supposed to protect children and guide them. Some as we meet them at the orphanage are tortured, abused and hurt by the nuns they call The Black Crows. Daring to ask questions, thinking they would defy their authority the sisters were more than cruel to the children who were unfortunately left at their doorstep. Making them feel dirty, unworthy and less human the indignities they endured will bring chills down your spine. The year was 1970 and the setting South Wales.
The story is told in three timelines as we move to 1981 and meet Peter and Eric van Kroot two brothers that hate each other but are about to find they have a secret bond that will destroy history and a secret about their family that will change the course of the Church.
Eric hands a bound book to his brother and the color goes out of his face knowing what this book might hold beneath its pages and as the story begins we take a trip back to 1535 and we meet Ezra Van Kroot where the events begin. When you read his testimony and his words you will understand the impact on the Church and how the Jewish people were inflicted. The first-born son must carry the message and this book and scroll keeping it safe but what was the significance and how would what be written beneath these pages change the view of the church. Jews to live had to convert to Christianity and yet the Church did not believe they were not still practicing their religion. Many were killed and tortured by the Inquisition and turned over to them. That is the past in the present we meet Hannah, Rose, Rachel and Lucy wards of the orphanage and each one has her own history and story. Rose is touch and stands up to the nuns. Lucy is dropped off by her mom and is afraid, so afraid that the life ends at her own hands. Hannah asks questions and the nuns see her as tainted, a non-believer and when Sister Simon comes to the orphanage, she is her only salvation from harm until they send the sister away.
The Reverend Mother, Sister Dominic and Sister Matthew enjoy torturing Hannah and the others and making them feel unworthy. When Rachel finally leaves and Rose decides to deal with two of the nuns, things take on a deadly turn and Hannah is left alone to face them all. But, in the present Eric learns the truth behind his brother’s wife death, the fact that he has a daughter and goes on a pilgrimage to find her and uncover the secret that his great great great grandfather protected.
Trying to find the truth behind the book Eric learns a harsh truth about Ella his brother’s wife and the fact that he has a daughter. Hannah/Maggie is in this orphanage and you grow to love her and when Rose acts and one of the nuns is killed, you almost want to cheer. Eric meets Penelope an old friend and the bond becomes strong and she helps him uncover the secrets that Ezra wanted hidden in the past. What really happened to Jesus? Did he die on the cross? Was Judas really forgiven by him? What is the truth behind the history? Eric tells us of the bust up with his brother over Ella. As he recounts it to Hannah when they finally meet. Searching for her, learning something about her past,, calls, letters and visits to churches and meeting a Priest that he thought was on his side, Eric learns the harsh realities when the Catholic Church does not want the truth behind the scroll revealed.
Traveling to Mexico and to the community known as Maranos, Eric’s journey took on many directions. He tells of his journey throughout southern Spain leading him to Mojacar and the Indalo Man, and how he learned about his original family name and more. Then he tells of his journey back to Amsterdam where he uncovered his ancestor Ezra’s book. The emotions are real, and the torment revealed as he shares what he learns with Hannah.
Added in she wants to learn why it took so long for him to find and his reaction to learning he had a daughter. Stopping his quest for the scroll and wanting to find Hannah became paramount and meeting with Father Ambroos who he though was on his side along with having Penelope at his side. Thinking Hannah was gone and not knowing the truth he learned about the clues about the so-called Rainbow Man and then realized that he and Penelope were being followed and watched. The Church is vigilant, and the leaders would stop at nothing to prevent what he wanted the world to learn. Leading the discussion to the Gnostic Gospels and the Gospel of Judas. The revelation is startling and author Mark Townsend creates for readers what he titles The Judas Scroll which you need to read for yourself and decide after reading it and completing reading this novel, what is fact and what or fiction.
The year moves ahead to 1985 and we hear the voices of the church leaders who want to take down Eric, as we learn that his lineage is Dutch and the Cardinal is furious with what he hears and learns but will they resort to drastic measures?
The story moves ahead to 1990 and we learn the fate of Rose and how Hannah reaches out to her friend but there is an ending you won’t believe and a nun that will endear you to her heart as we see this nun relive for another child her past, what she went through hoping that this young girl will find peace and happiness. As she relates to this young girl the truth behind the scroll and uncovers, he hopes the tomb of Jesus. Listen to his broadcast as he shares his findings and then you the reader decide the facts, fiction and the why his name will never be trusted and why this man from the pasts name will always stand for traitor and his son will be known as the Traitor’s Child.
Heartbreaking, informative, engaging and raises questions about the Catholic church, nuns and their abuses that are often brought to light today in the news, the author includes Historical notes to clarify any questions you might have.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews