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I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cult is a short but very intense read. When Barney Harrigan realizes that his wife has been brainwashed into a cult, he is desperate and willing to do anything to get her back, even if it means calling his ex-lover, Naomi, to help him.
The Glory Church is one of the most well-known cults in the country. They are also one of the most feared by outsiders. Too many people have seen family members and friends sucked in, never to be heard from again. The members seemingly become zombies, void of emotion or any kind of reasoning. Their only purpose is to serve Father Glory. Just how far will Barney go, even it means risking his life or the lives of others? Will he become a bigger monster than those he is fighting against? Can Naomi put aside her feelings for Barney and what they shared in order to help him save his wife?
Barney’s desperation is completely realistic. I can’t imagine what I would be willing to do if I lost a family member to something so senseless; the agony of knowing that your family member is being brainwashed but not being held against their will. This book deeply explores the concept of free will and basic human rights. While I found Barney believable and sympathetic, Naomi was grating on my nerves. At first I found her likeable and felt bad for her, towards the end of the book I felt like I just didn’t understand her or what exactly it was that she believed in. Her stance and convictions seemed to change with every page. There is also the issue of what can legally be done to stop these people. The answer unfortunately is very little. There are usually not any laws being broken, and no one is willing to do anything until it’s too late.
I liked the concept of this book. I think that the subject of cults is still a taboo today. Sure it becomes a big story when something tragic happens. The Manson Family, Heaven’s Gate, The Branch Davidians, none of them really made headlines until things went horribly wrong. I felt unnerved reading this knowing that this exact thing could be going on right now in this country. How many families are being destroyed by this?
This book will make you wonder (if not be terrified by the thought) how easily someone in your own family could be lost. It also really made me wonder what motivates the leaders of these groups. Do they really believe the ideals that they are selling? Are they motivated purely by power and money? These are definitely things I am now more interested in researching after reading Cult.
Any book that makes you want to learn more on a topic is a success. 4 stars and an expensive scotch on ice! Enjoy!
A thank you to Warren Adler for generously providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.