Girl at the End of the World
By: Elizabeth Esther
Paperback: 224 pages
Published: March 18, 2014
By: Convergent Books
I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away.
Verily, verily I say unto thee, none of these highly specialized skills ever got me a job, but at least I’m all set for the end of the world. Selah.
A story of mind control, the Apocalypse, and modest attire.
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.
Includes reading group discussion guide and interview with the author
Elizabeth Esther probably doesn’t think it but she is a hero for her family and while she still carries scars that she is dealing with this book was amazingly important for the world to know.
As a victim who was taken and preached to and chastised in the name of “god” I unfortunately related to much of what she was saying. I shed many tears reading this candid account of the most vulnerable and scary moments of her life.
I recommend this book to anyone and EVERYONE because it isn’t just a book. It is a guide, in my opinion, to understanding what goes on inside of the head of someone who is in a “victim” position and even more, someone who was a victim and is dealing with re-establishing themselves.
In this book you get a first hand glimpse into what many of us call reality and I can attest to the fact that years after the abuse is over the stuff inside of you is still there like it is a tumor that can’t be removed and needs to be worked around instead.
Elizabeth Esther is an amazing storyteller and blogger and I encourage everyone to read this book to gain some understanding into themselves, people they love, people they haven’t met yet. Unfortunately post traumatic stress affects us all, one way or another.
About the Author
Elizabeth Esther is the author of “Girl at The End of the World: my escape from fundamentalism in search of faith with a future.” She is a popular, award-winning blogger and advocate for children’s rights. She appeared on Anderson Cooper LIVE to confront the abusive child spanking practices of Mike & Debi Pearl. Her writing has appeared in Mothering Magazine, OC Family and The Orange County Register. She is a contributing writer for Deeper Story. Elizabeth is a mother of five and lives with her husband and family in Tustin, California.