- 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)
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Not Without My Sister: The True Story of Three Girls Violated and Betrayed Hardcover – July 2, 2007
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
'A chilling account of life in the grip of a sinister madness.' Daily Mail. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Kristina, Celeste and Juliana were all born into the cult The Children of God to the same father, David Jones, who remains a member of the organisation. Kristina and Celeste share the same mother. The three girls were separated from each other and their mothers at an early age and lived in various missions throughout the world under the 'care' of various foster parents. Both Kristina and Celeste were eventually able to escape the cult and study psychology at university. Celeste remained in the cult until well into her twenties, when falling pregnant provided the catalyst to make her escape. Juliana is now studying psychology and philosophy and is still in contact with her remaining siblings in the cult.
Top Customer Reviews
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".Read more ›
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
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have seen a few documentaries about the Children of God but this was my first book. I thought they were pretty sick, this is beyond the Pale. Jeez. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Wendy Busby
Very sad story, but a good read. I would have given 5 stars, but the author bounces bacj and forth between characters and I often had to go back to remind myself which person it... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Right is right
It's incredible what these young women survived and overcame, but it got very hard to follow at times since the story was being told by three of them and kept bouncing back and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by KRom
I couldn't really get into it as each girl had her own story and I couldn't fit it all together.Published 3 months ago by Anita Wages
Shocking story but hard to believe. No sane adult could possibly believe that God would tell anyone that such a life is okay, especially one including young children in their sex... Read morePublished 3 months ago by D. Schumann
The stories contained in this book leave horrible images in my mind. Throughout my life I have been fascinated by cults and the control they are able to have over those whom I... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Misty