Girl at the End of the World: a Book Review

"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."

This is such an interesting book from beginning to end. Elizabeth has a writing style that is very fluid and easy to read. I found myself relating to many of the small stories in Girls at the End of the World. I learned a lot about fundamentalism too. It is a word I hear thrown around once in a while, but I never really understood it.

The back of the book includes discussion questions which are fantastic. There are many ideas in the book that this religious group took too far, such as disciplining children and gender roles. I was concerned that the questions would be biased against those things. In actuality the questions ask you to think about the pros and cons of such topics and ask you to determine for yourself where the lines should be drawn.

There was also a great interview in the back with Elizabeth Esther. She goes into some detail about what fundamentalism is and her experience writing the book. I don't know that I would say that I enjoyed the book. It isn't the kind of story that you "enjoy". It was very much worth reading though and I do recommend it. It was well written and the bonus goodies at the end were a great addition.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

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