SHUNNED by Linda A.  Curtis

SHUNNED

How I Lost my Religion and Found Myself
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this debut memoir, the author steps away from her religion, leading to both severe social consequences and personal fulfillment.

Curtis grew up in Portland in a family of strict Jehovah’s Witnesses. She was as faithful as could be, incessantly attending meetings and preaching to others, all while successfully pursuing a career at an American bank. She and her equally dedicated husband, Ross, lived happy, faithful lives together until a moment that changed everything. While proselyting, Curtis knocked on the door of a co-worker, and suddenly her message about the impending destruction of nonbelievers just didn’t ring true anymore. The author’s doubts festered and eventually led her to divorce both her husband and her faith. According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, only death or sexual relations with another person can officially end a marriage. Curtis had sex after her divorce, but she kept this to herself. After moving to Chicago, climbing the corporate career even further, and finding fulfillment in other belief systems, she took the final step of confessing her sexual encounters and apostasy to her family and church leaders. The official shunning commenced and has continued to this day, only temporarily suspended for funerals. Curtis has organized her thoughts well and expresses them clearly and entertainingly. No detail of her spiritual, social, and professional journey, however, is too small to share, which stalls momentum. Still, the author’s radical transformation—from dogmatism to relativism and from timidity to self-assurance—unfolds gradually and genuinely. Beyond providing an eye-opening look at her former religious community, this memoir subtly encourages readers to challenge childhood views in search of chosen beliefs.

A profound, at times fascinating, personal transformation told with meticulous (if not excessive) detail.

Pub Date: April 17th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-63152-328-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: She Writes Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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