Naomi Young-Rodas

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Naomi Young-Rodas

Naomi Young-Rodas

I got to know Naomi Young-Rodas through the United Reformed Church. She had three books she had written in earlier times which were requiring a fresh launch and the TSL model worked for her. Naomi’s books are hard-hitting getting to the essence of life and human action/reaction.
It if Falls, a novel, was inspired by her time in Guatamala when she was involved in the search for Manuel Saquic and the appeals for justice.
Right of Possession, another novel, considers the life of a woman caught in an abusive relationship and how she gets out of it with the assistance of a friend. This is not an easy read, partly because of its topic but more so due to the frankness with which Naomi approaches the issue. It’s a book worth reading, although I’m not sure how much someone going through a similar experience would be encouraged by it to take the intiative to leave such a relationship.
Her final novel published through TSL is Detroit Debris, set in Detroit. If murder and crime are your genre, then this is the book for you. It all happens here as a retired cop makes links between his last unsolved case and various new murders and a young journalist out to make a name for herself. All happening in a Detroit which is suffering economically.
Throughout Naomi’s books are themes of justice, developing a sense of self, and humanity.
I hope to see more from her in time.

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Lady Sleuths

Back in 2016, I came across Death and a Cup of Tea.

This reminded me of:
Alexander McCall Smith’s No 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series and Nancy Drew – I see I’m not the only one to have had an affinity with this young lady.
There’s also Jessica Fletcher and Miss Marple by the number 1 Lady Sleuth writer, Agatha Christie, who advises writers to “Remember as you write, expectations are for others. Your only job is to write your story. Remove the pressure.”

While Sadie Trombetta includes Rizzoli and Isles in her list, I’m not sure I would given the fact that Rizzoli is a police detective but if that’s acceptable in a list of female sleuths, then I feel quite comfortable including the female police officer featuring significantly in Death is Waiting by Patricia Simpson. For a slightly different take on using the skills of a sleuth is the coroner in Naomi Young Rodas’ Right of Possession.

And for a more recent list, 2023, Angela Erickson has a list of historical female sleuths I’ve never heard of.

First published 22 April 2017, updated 2024

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Fiction – a platform for challenging topics

Fiction can be a handy tool for tackling issues that are hard-hitting. For example:

Right of Possession (Naomi Young-Rodas) – dealing with an abusive partner.
Archie’s Children (Beatrice Holloway) – a criminal father returns to stay with his adult children.
A little piece for mother (Barbara Towell) – the impact of a holocaust survivor on her daughter growing up in London.
Become the Wind (Alexander Crombie) – dealing with blind people.
So Long Henry Bear (Alexander Crombie) – prisoner of war survivor’s guilt.
The Eye of the Clown (Alexander Crombie) – responses to physical disfigurement.

And if you prefer non-fiction, these might be of interest:

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Naomi Young-Rodas

About Naomi

Naomi Young-Rodas published her first novel with TSL in 2020 (new edition from the 2008 original). She has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University and has previously had poetry published in numerous anthologies. She has lived in Switzerland, Guatemala and the USA and is now a minister of the United Reformed Church in Essex.

She lived and worked in Guatemala in the 1990s during the last years of the civil war; briefly teaching English and then working with the Presbyterian Church of Guatemala. She was involved in the search for Manuel Saquic and the appeals for justice – this was the inspiration for If it Falls.

Books by Naomi

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Spiritual places

The most obvious spiritual places are generally regarded as religious places. How many books feature these special places? I’ve identified a few:

A church (of England) church in The Good Vicar by John Samson
St Paul’s, a Polish church in Ealing and various others in A Second Chance by Anna Ryland
There is a Presbyterian Church in Naomi Young-Rodas’ If it Falls

And a whole book about a church which became a VAD hospital during World War 1 – St John’s United Reformed Church by Northwood Community Arts (on request).

Linda Kane has a few churches and other spiritual places in her Luci de Foix series: Black Madonna: The Pope’s Obsession and Death is an Illusion.
Jo Wilkinson’s When Falls the Night and Leslie Tate in Love’s Register have spiritual places rather than a building, as does Kathleen Bates in Joyful Witness.
Megan Carter’s collection of poetry Amazing Grace is inspired by spiritual places while Beatrice Holloway’s Elusive Destiny deals with meeting the requirements to get into heaven in novel format.

first published 12 January 2017, updated 2024