A frank, in-depth account of one woman’s struggles in a controlling organization.

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An author recounts her experiences with the religious group The Way International in this debut memoir.

Although Edge was raised Roman Catholic, she drifted from the religion as a teenager. Following the loss of her mother to cancer, she had questions about God that Catholicism seemed unable to answer. After participating in a Young Life camp and other flirtations with Protestantism, she came across some young men at East Carolina University who claimed to have something stronger. They were representatives of The Way International, a group founded by Victor Paul Wierwille, whose aim was to present the Bible in a way that “would reveal the original, noncontradictory, error-free Scriptures that God authored.” It was with The Way that the author’s life would change completely. From dropping out of college to becoming part of The Way Corps to marrying another member, she would spend years immersed in what many, including Edge, would consider a cult. Although The Way claimed to be an organization aimed at researching and spreading the original message of the Bible, the author argues that it was really a group that embraced the whims of its often moody leader: “This wasn’t a church where people attended only once a week, but a thriving family with a common cause.” It is easy to see from Edge’s account what might attract one to such a family, despite warnings from others. While a variety of controversies ended up surrounding The Way, the author’s most astute portrayal concerns her participation in its research branch. As she and others worked to translate old biblical texts, it became clear to her that the only interpretation that mattered was the one that had been decided by Wierwille. After all, his whole claim of authority came from his notion of “a perfect Bible.” Scenes of disagreements among researchers might not be as salacious as accusations of sexual misconduct within the group (which Edge mentions, though she did not experience it firsthand). But the clashes pointedly illustrate the contradictions at the heart of such an institution. If a research branch denies its own findings due to the will of one man, then surely trouble is afoot.

A frank, in-depth account of one woman’s struggles in a controlling organization.  

Pub Date: Nov. 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9978747-0-9

Page Count: -

Publisher: New Wings Press

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2017


The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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