Jesus Land

I read about 30 pages of this book a few years ago and then it languished on my bookshelf. I picked it up again and read it in a day. I guess some books you just need to read at certain times.

From the back cover:
Julia and her adopted brother, David, are sixteen years old. Julia is white. David is black. It is the mid-1980s and their family has just moved to rural Indiana, a landscape of cottonwood trees, trailer parks, and an all-encompassing racism. At home are a distant mother-more involved with her church's missionaries than her own children- and a violent father. In this riveting and heartrending memoir Jula Scheeres takes us from the Midwest to a place beyond imagining: surrounded by natural beauty, the Escuela Caribe- a religious reform school in the Dominican Republic- is characterized by a disciplinary regime that extracts repentance from its students by any means necessary. Julia and David strive to make it through these ordeals and their tale is relayed here with startling immediacy, extreme candor, and wry humor.

This book was so disturbing in so many ways. The way the parents were only marginally involved in their kids lives except to punish them and force them to attend a church more interested in appearing pious than actually following Jesus, the way Julia and David were so close and through the course of the book retreated from each other for their own self preservation and the way this divorced them from any desire to be in any relationship with God.

It was good, it was disturbing but it was good. 

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