Review by Paula Ricketts:
This book took me a little by surprise. I’ve not read a lot about cults, but I’ve seen a few TV shows and movies about them. This book definitely opened up to me the way some cults operate, and also how many people are truly brainwashed.
This was the story of a young girl who grew up in such a cult. All along she felt like things were not as they should be, and she didn’t want to continue in this lifestyle. Katie had a twin brother and a loving mother and father. The community they lived in, “Zion,” only had 200 people in it. In this community, couples were chosen by the Elders to become husband and wife. Most of the people in Zion were born there, and the process for outsiders to join was a lengthy one.
Katie found herself interested in one of the young boys of the community, David, about the time she turned 14. He seemed to feel an interest in Katie as well. They became friendly, and finally, Katie made a decision to leave Zion. She told David about it, and he told her he would go with her so they could be together. Katie’s brother wanted to be baptized in the society, but Katie did not. Her mother kept asking her when she was going to do it, but she kept saying she just wasn’t ready. She went to her parents and told them that she was going to leave Zion and David was going to go with her. Her parents decided to go, but her brother Michael refused. David told his parents and they supported them in their decision but felt they could not. So a friend of Katie’s dad told them he would help them and they could stay at his farm with him until they could find jobs and somewhere to live. Katie and David were married, with Katie’s father signing for her since she was only 17.
Eventually, they were told of an organization that had facilities in three locations throughout the United States for people from places such as Zion. This organization helped with job placement and medical care for up to 18 months. They also had a program that would help these people to accept who they were and to understand the things they had come from. The family decided to do this; David and Katie to one in New Hampshire and Katie’s parents to Florida.
Upon arriving at the new place in New Hampshire, Katie learns quite unexpectedly that she is pregnant. After the initial shock wears off, David and Katie are excited about their new little one that is coming. They make friends at the facility and receive medical care and counseling. David is given job training and placement and things are looking up. They are able to stay until the baby comes, but through friends, they have made they find a place for them to live when they leave and David is able to find a better job.
Katie always felt she needed to find her freedom, and in the end, she does just that.
I was given this book to read in exchange for an honest review. I was very surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. One of my criteria for a good book (this is just my opinion) is if I can put myself in the book as the character. I feel the emotions as if they were happening to me. This book did that for me. Another criterion is that I get a good cry out of it. That also happened in this book for me. These are my honest opinions. I would like to read more from this author, and possibly more of this series. Since this book is the Zion Series Book 1, I feel there will be more.