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Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed Hardcover – July 2, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins UK (July 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007248067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007248063
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lucy on August 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book does an excellent job of capturing, in a matter-of-fact narrative delivered in unembellished prose, a picture of what it was like to have been born circa the 70's to parents who joined the "Children of God" cult (which now goes by "The Family International"), and to have been raised there.

Although I grew up in "Family" cult communes in another continent half a world away, not knowing the authors (except for seeing videos and pictures of Celeste Jones at Music With Meaning, which the cult published and circulated), as I read "Not Without my Sister" I recognized the various directives from the cult leaders' "letters" that the authors mentioned - and the unfortunately mirrored consequences when the adults around us implemented those directives on me and the other children around me.

So many of the incidents that the 3 authors recount and the trademark environments, atmosphere and modus operandi during the various phases of the cult's history, echo uncannily with what I experienced and saw when I was confined in that insular world. Like the authors as children, it was the only world I had ever known; escape from servitude and a better future seemed impossible dreams. I think the authors handled particularly effectively the challenge of communicating, in a direct and almost conversational manner notably devoid of melodramatics, a child's inner experience of confusion and entrapment in the face of cult-approved and sponsored molestation and exploitation delivered by the perpetrators in tones of religious devotion and of being all "sweetness and light".
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Format: Hardcover
I was very touched by this book. i cried as i read it, remembering what i too have been thru in this group. i grew up with many of the same abusers and lived in the same country, even living with Celeste and Julie off and on. (Hi girlies!!). i want to state for the record and in their support that despite what others in this group mention, how these things never happened to them...these things did happen, and they happened to me, and i happen to know it happened to them as well. i congratulate them for having the guts to put these things out, to make the public aware of things that can happen. i love you girls, and am so proud of you. ..your friend, Kat
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a very rational account of three people's personal experiences of a very difficult childhood. Despite the outrageous liberties that were taken with their minds and bodies by adults in the organisation within which they grew up, the authors manage to wite a very balanced, rational account which comes across clearly that they do not have an axe to grind but are simply telling their story in the hope that people will question and think hard about extreme religious organisations.
The book is carefully researched in terms of the history of the children of god, and succintly written without dwelling on the 'trauma' of the experience. The authors draw on only what they know and experienced themselves. The voices of the three girls come through clearly, intertwined with their adult selves.
What surprised me was the level of forgiveness they express towards their parents, who come across as drifting souls who were sucked into a cult that gave them the feeling of structure to their lives, and a sensation of importance, especially in the case of the father. The girls come across as positive and determined to move forward. The book is not a navel gazing searching for the reasons why their lives are bad, it is a clear thinking, well written account of what they actually experienced. I learned a lot. read it, if only to realise the blessings that you experienced in your own childhood
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Format: Hardcover
ABSOLUTELY 5 Stars. No question about it.
I picked up this book, in paperback, from my local library a couple days ago, just perusing the shelves for a quick book to read. The cover photo caught my eye, and with the title, gave an inkling of a tragic event these girls must have gone through. I did not pick it up because I knew it was about cult survivors, I picked it up because it made me think about my own sister and the bond of friendship we have together and how we have always helped each other through life's ups and downs and laughs and good and bad times. When I finished reading it a day later, I realized this recounting of abuse and terror beyond belief, hidden from the outside world, most likely will stay with me for the rest of my life. You don't forget atrocities like this, especially to young innocent precious children....children who look to adults for gentle and sure guidance, and well founded morality, and mostly, the LOVE of the parent for his/her CHILD, repeat: CHILD, not 21 year old, CHILD, THAT DOESN'T INCLUDE knowledge and/or actual actions of: intercourse, oral sex, strip teases and suggestive nude dances, nude photo sessions, sex ed at age 3, sex practices at age 3, belief that it's good to "LOVE" Jesus, etc....(AS IF you needed to have anymore to add to that list).
As for the people who reviewed here saying this was a fabricated story, why would you sincerely doubt them? Why else would these women go on in their lives to start an organization to help children in life threatening abusive situations? [...]
They could have been accountants, teachers, sports pros, scientists, etc., but they chose to be abused child advocates...a job ALL of us aspire to, don't we? Yep, sounds like they are full of hot air, uh huh, yup. Sigh.
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