"Debut author Read’s story is clearly heartfelt."– Kirkus Reviews
Read offers her personal tale of religious awakening, including her experiences with people whom she says were falsely serving Jesus Christ.
The author tells of how she joined a small Bible study and prayer group led by a man named Bill, and goes on to explain the ways in which her relationship with the group soured before she finally left in the 1990s. She states at the outset that she “was able to be deceived into thinking that I was walking with followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, when in truth, I was walking with the enemy.” She relates her journey of discovery in this memoir, in which she makes allegations regarding the group’s leader; for example, in a 1993 statement, she said, “He pursued the ladies in the group in a sexual way if they would have it.” Her account makes frequent use of such primary sources, including letters, diary entries, and transcriptions of tape-recorded conversations. She compares her own struggle with that of the infamous Branch Davidians, led by the charismatic David Koresh, and she makes clear that Koresh was “of the same ‘antichrist spirit’ as the man sent to try to destroy me, and my family!” Although Read’s account doesn’t end in fiery government intervention, it does contain stories of demonic attacks, the author’s ruminations on the nature of evil, and the recurring question of whom one can trust when committing to follow Jesus Christ. Debut author Read’s story is clearly heartfelt. However, it’s somewhat repetitive, with frequent declarations on such subjects as the power of God (“God is all-powerful! God is in control! And it doesn’t matter whether men believe it or not”), which don’t make for the most engaging prose. Readers will likely be convinced of the author’s devoutness early on, which she bolsters with many biblical references, so subsequent mentions of her devotion often seem extraneous. Nevertheless, her memoir delivers a quick, highly personalized account of her life’s journey.
An earnest, if occasionally redundant, description of one woman’s rocky spiritual path.