How I Lost my Religion and Found Myself
by Linda A. Curtis
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Pub Date 17 Apr 2018 | Archive Date 10 Apr 2018
“An inherently compelling and candidly revealing memoir . . . an extraordinary, riveting and unreservedly recommended read from first page to last.”
—Midwest Book Review
Linda Curtis was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and is an unquestioning true believer who has knocked on doors from the time she was nine years old. Like other Witnesses, she has been discouraged from pursuing a career, higher education, or even voting, and her friendships are limited to the Witness community.
Then one day, at age thirty-three, she knocks on a door—and a coworker she deeply respects answers the door. To their mutual consternation she launches into her usual spiel, but this time, for the first time ever, the message sounds hollow. In the months that follow, Curtis tries hard to overcome the doubts that spring from that doorstep encounter, knowing they could upend her “safe” existence. But ultimately, unable to reconcile her incredulity, she leaves her religion and divorces her Witness husband—a choice for which she is shunned by the entire community, including all members of her immediate family.
Shunned follows Linda as she steps into a world she was taught to fear and discovers what is possible when we stay true to our hearts, even when it means disappointing those we love.
“. . . a moving portrait of one woman's life as a Jehovah's Witness and her painful but liberating realization that she must give up her faith.”
“Curtis’s story reads as true to life . . . it will resonate across faith lines.”
“A profound, at times fascinating, personal transformation told with meticulous detail.”
“...a riveting story, a page-turner, a magnificent contribution, and a book you will never forget.”
—Lynne Twist, global activist and author of The Soul of Money
“A wonderful book that is about so much more than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
—Adair Lara, longtime columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle
“...brilliant, respectful, insightful and most of all hopeful.”
Readers of Educated and Leaving the Witness will resonate with Linda Curtis’ moving and courageous account of personal transformation.
Order your copy today and begin reading this disturbing, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring memoir.
“This is an unforgettable story from a brave and beautiful woman who has turned her tragic experience of being shunned into an inspiring opportunity to create and claim a life of integrity, joy, and purpose. Her pain and grief, courage and compassion, strength and insight will deeply touch every reader and have them rethink who they are and what they stand for. This is a riveting story, a page-turner, a magnificent contribution, and a book you will never forget.”
—Lynne Twist, global activist and author of The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life
“What a pleasure to journey with Linda Curtis in her brave, captivating story of really growing up all the way. I read this book deep into the night and picked it up in the morning, unable to turn away from the unfolding adventure of a young woman determined to live a true life.”
—Sherry Ruth Anderson, coauthor of The Feminine Face of God and The Cultural Creatives
“You can’t read Shunned without realizing that Curtis’s story is, writ large, the primal story of leaving home, in which you can’t become yourself without betraying your family. A wonderful book that is about so much more than the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
—Adair Lara, longtime columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of Hold Me Close, Let Me Go
Average rating from 13 members
This book was amazing. The writing was beautiful and well done. I was so invested. I can’t believe what the author had to go through. Then towards the end when she lost her husband, I was heartbroken for her. She consistently shows her strength and resilience throughout this book.
Linda Curtis is a hero of mine. You know why? She told us about her journey openly, honestly. The story was written so well it read like a novel. Not once did I get the feeling that any anger, hurt or other negative emotions experienced by her shunning overrode the positive journey. I recommend this book to anyone...it gives a good understanding of the Jehovah Witnesses faith as well as a fair expression of disagreement with those same beliefs. I loved reading this book and was more than happy to read and review Shunned honestly for the publisher.
I’ve always been interested in learning about different religions, so when I saw this memoir I did not hesitate in wanting to read it.
This book broke my heart. As someone who is extremely close to her family, I found myself crying through all the heartbreaks Linda had to endure after being shunned.
What I loved most about her story is that she was willing to sacrifice everything she knew to find her Truth.
Thank you to NetGalley, Author and Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.
This book was fantastic!!!😍 It was beautifully written and powerful! As someone who lost themselves and was hurt because of being kicked out of my church, I could relate in some ways to this book. I loved and appreciated the honesty this book had to offer and I highly recommend this book to others!
This book was very interesting it was all about a young woman who grew up in the Jehovah religion. But it was told from the very beginning and told about the good things and the bad. What I did like was how it showed the positive and shows how someone could be brought into the religion in the beginning then it took a turn for the worst. The book showed a very strong woman with a very strong faith and things were going well for her. Her family was Jehovah, she married a man of the Jehovah religion, a lot of her friends were in the same boat. Her faith was a large part of her family upbringing especially when her father converted after a long time. Things take a change however when she is out delivering the message of Jehovah to a man she knows when she suddenly doesn't believe in anything she is saying anymore. I liked this book because it showed the turmoil that Linda went through both with herself, her friends, as well as her family and her relationship with her husband. I liked how it showed her confusion when she decided that being a Mormon wasn't for her anymore. It was just her making a rash decision one day about her future it was her really looking at her life and what it all meant and what she wanted it to be.. The best part about this novel was I found Linda very easy to understand her character. She was very well written and not one dimensional like I was thinking that she might be. Her frustration at her husband when he constantly contradicts her and ignores what she needs telling her she needs to go to church more was just heartbreaking. I couldn't imagine having to face that on a day to day basis when she is already confused. I liked the strength that Linda showed and continued to show throughout the whole story well done I can't even imagine how hard that would have been. Great book and not a single thing I would change about it.
Shunned will break you. This memoir of faith, struggle and rebirth will have you on the edge of your seat. The author, Linda A. Curtis, was raised a JehovahWitness. She was the good girl, a Pioneer putting in many hrs of door to door evangelism. She never envisioned herself going down the road of doubt until one such door to door encounter had her hearing her message from the viewpoint of the receiver. Linda knows doubting is dangerous, but are worldly people that bad? Is what she’s been taught something her conscious can live with? Shunned is Linda’s journey to find out what happens when you step out of your assigned religious box.
If you are questioning the religion you were brought up in then Shunned just might be the book for you. Linda is honestly raw in her account of her journey. This book had me laughing, crying and cringing. There were times I just wanted to sit and weep along with Linda. I, myself, was not raised Jehovah Witness, but I know what it’s like to have your set beliefs ingrained in your brain and to step outside that belief is scary.
I did study with a Pioneer a few years ago for a few months. It was fascinating and intriguing. I felt challenged to explain why I believe what I do, which I think is good. Their study materials are impressive and they are highly organized. When I came out I pulled away from my studies because I know their view on homosexuality. I had hoped said Pioneer would still be my friend. A real friend. Sadly nope. As soon as I backed away it was like she never contacted me. When I reached out to check in I was advised I knew where I could find her. The Kingdom Hall. As long as I showed interest then you’d think she viewed me as a close friend, but as soon as that opportunity went away then I got black listed. Did she truly care about my spiritual walk and soul? Honestly I don’t think so. It came across as a numbers game. Glad I stepped back.
I received my free ARC of Shunned from NetGalley care of She Writes Press. This book has to be my number one 2018 book. It’s brilliant, respectful, insightful and most of all hopeful. Thank you Linda for sharing your heart.
I found this book to be a page turner. The author's early devotion to her religion is equaled to her desire for a new beginning. I can feel her torn soul, her new found freedom at war with the sure loss of her family, and the choices she was forced to make. It was an interesting insight into the strict world of the Jehovah's Witness religion, and the mix of fear of Armageddon and hope for the "New System" that keeps entire families in the fold. Great read, right until the end!
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