Release Date: March 18th, 2014
Number of Pages: 224
Publisher: Convergent an imprint of The Crown Publishing Group
// Summary (from Amazon) //
I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away.
Verily, verily I say unto thee, none of these highly specialized skills ever got me a job, but at least I’m all set for the end of the world. Selah.
A story of mind control, the Apocalypse, and modest attire.
Elizabeth Esther grew up in love with Jesus but in fear of daily spankings (to “break her will”). Trained in her family-run church to confess sins real and imagined, she knew her parents loved her and God probably hated her. Not until she was grown and married did she find the courage to attempt the unthinkable. To leave.
In her memoir, readers will recognize questions every believer faces: When is spiritual zeal a gift, and when is it a trap? What happens when a pastor holds unchecked sway over his followers? And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Girl at the End of the World is a story of the lingering effects of spiritual abuse and the growing hope that God can still be good when His people fail.
// My thoughts on Girl At The End of The World //
Oh, this story. I could not put this memoir down. My heart ached all the more with every single turn of the page. I will never be the same, now that I have had a glimpse into the reality of what cult-life and religiosity and harm inflicted in the name of God looks like.
I can honestly say that I would not have been able to contain my weeping had I not (thankfully) known that EE had already been totally removed from her previously cult-saturated home life. That said, this painfully eye-opening memoir still had me fighting back the tears, and furiously flipping through the pages to get to the end - or wouldn't it be the beginning? - of EE's story.
Elizabeth Esther's life story is downright cringe-worthy and heart-rending, and she is completely brave for having told her tale of fleeing The Assembly. The world needs to listen to - not just hear - this story. And then we should all promptly seek to share it around our tables, because this story is a needed one. I believe EE's story has the power to free, to redeem, and ultimately to point towards a way of finding healing, for those of us who have escaped, or still need to escape, cycles of physical and religious abuse.
EE you are one beautiful, brave woman. Thank you for telling us your life story. You inspire us all to be brave, and to push past the boundaries of fear.
* trigger warnings: some profanity, talk of abuse, cult-atmosphere, depression, and brainwashing *
// About The Author //
Elizabeth Esther is the author of 'Girl at The End of the World: my escape from fundamentalism in search of faith with a future.' She is a popular, award-winning blogger and advocate for children's rights.
She appeared on Anderson Cooper LIVE to confront the abusive child spanking practices of Mike & Debi Pearl. Her writing has appeared in Mothering Magazine, OC Family and The Orange County Register. She is a contributing writer for Deeper Story. Elizabeth is a mother of five and lives with her husband and family in Tustin, California.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.