Thursday, March 6, 2014

Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church - Lauren Drain and Lisa Pulitzer

Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church Banished is a complicated book in that it is often contradictory, doesn't make sense, and is at once appalling and intriguing. Much of that can be explained in that it's about a real person, not a made-up character, and real people are often contradictory, don't make sense, and are at once appalling and intriguing in ways that fictional characters are not. With that in mind, I can excuse Drain's weird, mixed-up statements about much of what the church does, because she's a real person who honestly doesn't seem to have come to one conclusion about her experiences yet. Maybe she never will. It was still an interesting look into the psychology of someone who was in the church and then kicked out.

What I can't excuse is the writing. It's juvenile, at best, using words like "superaccomodating," which isn't even real word, and sentences like, "The whole thing was so lame," to describe an instance in which her father forced her to lie about his abuse. She uses "really" and "very" far too much. The sentences aren't complex at all, and I felt like a middle school student could have written this book. The writing was not at all engaging, and really stunted what I think this memoir could have been.

2 stars out of 5.

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