This completely absorbing book is as gripping as any thriller…An early candidate for memoir of the year, this is a thrilling story of one woman’s search for truth and her place in the world.
It is a triumph. A work of great honesty and insight.
FINALIST for the Northern California Book Awards in Creative Nonfiction.
A Top Ten Book in Religion and Spirituality.
With its keen attention to the language and tactics of the church, Hall’s memoir is unique among the assortment of Scientology reports and exposés, offering insight into the certainties that its subjects gain . . . (the book) is most revealing in its depiction of Scientology as just one of many expressions that the American search for selfhood can manifest.”
It is a great strength of Sands Hall’s clear-eyed and compelling memoir that she shows what she found authentic and rewarding in the Church of Scientology, not merely its corruption and imprisoning dogma. There is regret in her account but little anger or blame. Her triumph is not that she got out, but that she winnowed what nourishment the church could provide and took it forward in her spiritual journey.
…serves as a significant behind-the-scenes look at this cultlike religion. Frank and edifying information on Scientology from a woman who experienced it firsthand. A good complement to Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear.
…(an) impassioned, wonderfully constructed memoir. . . . Hall reflects with brutal honesty on her decisions throughout this meticulously crafted book, which explores her negative experiences with Scientology and how her desire to please led her to believe in the unbelievable.
…provide(s) some of the most penetrating, illuminating prose about how an educated and skeptical person could get so deeply into, and then struggle to escape, what everyone around her warned was a dangerous cult.
It is no surprise when, after a few encounters with Scientology… Hall begins to feel its pull, And if it is Scientology’s offer of a life with meaning that hauls her in… it is its approach to meaning that keeps her.
An intriguing, beautifully written memoir… She toggles between her family and the church, digging deeply into the dynamics of power and control, love and compassion, before coming to a surprising resolution.
LONGLISTED for the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association’s Golden Poppy Award in Nonfiction.
Hall takes readers on a profound journey of loss, longing, and recovery.
[L]ike many former Scientologists, Hall is honest about the insidious ways it can capture and isolate its adherents. It’s a memoir of a life filled with joy and tragedy, and readers will appreciate the author’s candor.
..a raw and moving account of (Hall’s) personal journey through the Church of Scientology.
…a cautionary tale not only for our religious life, but especially now, for our political one.
…toggles between her family and the church, digging
deeply into the dynamics of power and control, love, and compassion,
before coming to a surprising resolution.