Heaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years as a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult by Miriam Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I definitely have a thing for reading memoirs and books about cults - I'm a bit obsessed, truth be told. I was born in 76, and had really only heard of this cult before, but other than the name and that it was a cult, knew nothing at all about it. I prefer autobiographies to memoirs but actually read more memoirs than autobiographies, and this book was the first book I found through interlibrary loan when the time came to read about this cult.
Williams is clearly not an accomplished writer; her book reads very flat. That being said, her life is fascinating. You can clearly tell she's censoring herself a lot, and I do get that, but on the other hand, she was the one who chose to write this book, you can't now only share half your story, and you definitely get the impression that that is what she is doing here.
Her constant, reoccuring theme throughout the book is how she would do absolutely anything to protect her children and claims she finally leaves the cult because of her children, when that's clearly not true. I also really hated the fact that she constantly talks about how much she loves her children (plural) and constantly tries to tell us what she did that made her such a good mother, when in fact she mainly obsesses over her oldest child, and mainly puts him (and her other children) in harm's way, rationalizing that she's in fact exposing them to emotional and psychological abuse. Williams seems more interested in telling us what a good mother she is, then in actually sharing her experiences in a cult.
I also was surprised, when she finally got to how she left the cult, by how she actually left. Without spoiling the book for you, she constantly tells us how she left the cult because she wanted to save her children, when it seems more like she just got left behind. The whole thing reads as a story, and I wonder where the truth actually lies.
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