Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of a Faith with a Future

Elizabeth Esther, Author
Elizabeth Esther. Convergent, $14.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-307-73187-6
Reviewed on: 02/10/2014
Release date: 03/18/2014
Open Ebook - 135 pages - 978-0-307-73188-3
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In a somewhat predictable first memoir, 30-something blogger Esther describes growing up in a fundamentalist cult—her term— called The Assembly. As a child, she learns an “apocalypse survival plan” and is regularly spanked. In Esther’s adolescence, The Assembly’s cracks begin to show. Allowed to go to public high school so that she could convert her peers, Esther realizes that many kids whom her family describes as heathen unbelievers are in fact quite devout, and she is distracted from the straight and narrow by boys. By age 18, Esther feels trapped and sometimes thinks dying would be better than life with her fundamentalist family. Still she perseveres, marrying, at 20, a boy her parents approve of. Five years later, Esther, with her husband and children, leaves The Assembly. A therapist teaches her about disassociation and triggers. Eventually, Esther, by then a mother of seven, connects with Mary, is drawn to Catholicism, and learns about the importance of grace. Esther’s descriptions of her claustrophobic childhood faith are clear and compelling; her account of the faith she found as an adult is, however, less insightful. Agent: Rachelle Gardner, Books and Such Literary Agency. (Mar.)
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