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"Growing Up in Mama's Club" is a compelling, coming-of-age story about a boy who is a victim of sixteen years of emotional, religious abuse. His day-to-day life and his attempts to conform to a belief system at odds with his intellectual skills are at times both heart-rending and humorous. But his ultimate triumph over religious indoctrination should be inspirational for people of all ages, especially for anyone growing up in an abusive environment. When he was four years of age, during his mother's turbulent five-month conversion process, he thought she was joining a club. Once she became a member, his mama insulated him from an outside world she believed would be destroyed before he reached the age of twenty. While he didn't know it at the time, his childhood was similar in many ways to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest-forced to live with Nurse Ratchet-type rules and surrounded by a supporting cast of unusual and colorful characters. While most books about cult-like groups are written by theologians or angry ex-members, this book engages the reader with amusing ironies, unique events, and graphic scenes-all presented in a warm, accessible tone.
The book also includes interesting information about the non-mainstream beliefs and checkered history of Jehovah's Witnesses, and what it was like, as a child, to be forced to live under "the rule of truth." "Mama's Club" should prompt readers to rethink the influences that underlie their own childhood, encouraging them to better understand that a full life is created not by what happens to us, but by how we make sense of events over which we had no control.