Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Convergent Books (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307731871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307731876
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.

Includes reading group discussion guide and interview with the author

My Impression: 

This was an emotional, gut wrenching book to read.  It elicited anger and deep sadness from me at the same time. It was so disheartening to know that this type of religious teaching/abuse still goes on in families and churches.  I guess God’s true grace and forgiveness escape some.  I was pleased to read about how Esther used these trials to find herself, her faith and sharing what god can accomplish through the most horrific of situations to bring honor and glory to Him!

This is one of those books that you plan to pick up, skim over and read in your spare time, but then you get so drawn into that you cannot put it down and instead find yourself yelling at the book and tossing it out of frustration, anger and sadness.  The humor that was sprinkled throughout was deeply needed .

I would say that this is not the book you read if you are new in your faith or are searching for faith. It would only drive you away. I could only recommend this book to those who already have a strong faith and know the power of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness.  Otherwise, this book might drive them in the opposite direction away from God.

Elizabeth EstherBiography

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.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The Bloggingforbooks Review Crew.

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