Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book: I'm Perfect, You're Doomed by Kyria Abrahams

This book tells the story of the author's upbringing within the Jehovah's Witness community. It is one part sociology of small religious groups, one part raucous coming of age tale and one part bittersweet tale of liberation. It was not quite what I was expecting - much funnier but also less meditative. It is remarkable for its forebearance for both the parents, trapped in their unhappy marriage and struggling on their own with lives in the church. More generally, Abrahams seems to recognize that even though being brought up as a Witness is a very different thing, and a remarkably totalizing thing, her parents probably would have been a mess even as Episopalians or Buddhists and she would still have had a bumpy teenage ride. The author also has a lot of tolerance for her own struggles along the way, which get pretty tough at times and are described without much apology or sugar-coating. I was heartened, after reading the book, to go on to the book's web page and see that things have settled down a bit in the author's life.

Bookslut review here, which captures it pretty well, though the review is a bit less positive than I am about the book.

Recommended, if the subject is of interest.