I hated the story. I hated that people like this exist/ed - her parents, the teachers, her older brother. Where do these people come from?
The writing was simply amazing. Julia has real talent and it shows. I had no idea the first sentence in the epilogue was coming. Tears sprang to my eyes for David, for what he had and what he lost. What a sad end of the book. Having said that, my copy had an interview with the author that made me feel better about it *laugh*
I was WAY invested in this book from the get go... she pulls you in, and even after it's over, won't let you go. I finished reading this last night and I simply couldn't come write about it until now. I needed time to think about it, to get over my anger at her teachers - and her family. Her parents... what horrible people.
Oh my gosh! I read this in two days. Undoubtedly THE most depressing book I have ever read! Maybe it just hit too close to home for me since my son is African American, but how in God's name anyone could mistreat, hurt and BEAT children like those supposed "parents" did is beyond me. Poor David - what a horrid, sorrowful life that child had, and despite it all, he remained hopeful and relatively cheerful. It broke my heart. That this was done in the name of religion is abhorrent. That this goes on today in the name of religion is even more abhorrent. I am absolutely SICK from reading this. I will repost it, get rid of it and try to erase its horror from my mind, but I doubt I will ever be able to.
This book is sad because it is true. I did enjoy it because it occured in the small town in Indiana that I grew up in. If you are anti-religous, you will probably enjoy this book...it makes you question what things people try to do and say in the name of religon. Unfortunately many kids were abused at the hands of those who claim to be doing God's work.
After reading this book, I wish that I could've met David. He sounds like a great brother:=) This was a well-written memoir, but it needs some background on what made her parents into such devout Christians and why her mother was such a emotionally detached parent.
This was a powerful book. Julia Scheeres went through hell (no pun intended) with ultra religous bible-thumping parents who were cold and detached, abusive to her adopted brothers, and gave their all to the Lord and missionaries. She is never self indulgent, presenting the cold truth in a sometimes matter-of-fact and sometimes humorous manner. Hopeful...but also heartbreaking.
As other reviewers have stated, I too read this in one morning while I was on a rain day from work. It was heartbreaking, but also inspiring.
We had a rain day at work today, and I read the whole thing. It was amazing, sad, extremely well-written, and makes me want to write to every senator that anyone who sends their kids to Escuela Caribe should be sent to counseling, if not jail for child abuse.
It amazing what people can go through and still find a positive light.
This was an incredible memoir! Julia Scheeres, who is white, tells the story of her shared childhood with her adopted black brother. The story is grim, and divided between their wildly dysfunctional home and a reform school in the Dominican Republic. The great love she has for her brother can be felt throughout the book. All I can say is--READ THIS!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I could definitely relate to being a teenager in the 80's, but I could not relate to the racial disparities. This book really shows the racial divide, especially as it occurred in the Midwest in the 70's and 80's.
The author is able to show both sides of the racial coin, which I have never read so eloquently before. She is able to allow us to view how her adopted black brother, David, was treated as well as explaining her own feelings of guilt and shame because she had a black brother that was treated differently then herself, even by her parents.
This is a wonderful memoir of a girl that was born into an abusive ultra Christian home, with two black brothers, an absent father, and a mother that never once said "I love you" to her children. Acting as a normal teen she gets into trouble and is then sent to a evangelical reform school in the Dominican Republic.
I really don't read that many memoir's so I was hesitant to read this one. All I can say is WOW, Scheeres is an incredible writer!
She grabbed me from the first chapter and after each page I just had to read more. I was fascinated by Julia and Davids relationship. They were fighting one minute and then cheering for one another the next. True sibling rivalary.
I did wish that the book addressed the parents more, in that I would be interested in why they believed in what they did. The father was almost non-existant (except for punishment) while the mother was there a bit more often.
Such a powerful book - I had trouble reading something else for several days after finishing this one. I haven't put it up on my bookshelf yet either...I would be interested to see if my bookclub would consider this as a choice.
This is one of the best books that I have read in quite a while. I did not want it to end. The parents were more interested in their "religion" than they were in their family. How can people pretend to love and care in the name of "religion." This book can make you really angry at "so-called Christians." It is such a shame that children have to go through such a life. What a difference love would have made in their lives. A must read!
WOW--this is really a moving true read. I loved Julia (white) and her brother David (black). I was not fond of her parents and the way others in rural Indiana treated them. The racism that was allowed by the teachers and the self loving, in my opinion, stupid and lazy, mother, and the father who was, but wasn't, he was a surgeon who was supposed to care about people.I won't give another moment of my time. Julia and David on the other hand are awsome people who you will want to come to know. I loved this book.
This memoir was well written and just heartbreaking. My heart broke that David grew up craving love and was systematically denied that love by everyone but Julia. And even sometimes by her. I'll never forget the cover photo. He breaks my heart. It was so honestly written by the author. I aplaud her courage and love for her brother. I'd say more about my feelings, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read the book yet.
So wonderfully written but so, so sad. It was so engrossing that I could barely pull myself away but I hated every minute of it. How people could treat children like this is beyond me. I so feel for Julia and everything that she has endured because everything that she went through was just senseless. The way that she writes about David, you understand him, you know him. He just wants to be part of a family and aside from his relationship with Julia, that will never happen. My heart is broken for those two kids. I finished the book on a plane today and I was crying on the plane. I had to move my hair in front of my face to try to keep my fellow travelers from seeing it. I think this book is one that will stay with me for a long time. I'm just so sad for them both.
This is a powerful book and very readable. It's a stunning expose of the one of those Christian "reform" Schools in addition to being an amazing story of resilience and love between adoptive siblings. An excellent read.
This book is so captivating that I didn't want to put it down. Its also really hard to read because these kids had a truly horrible childhood.
I kept wondering how the parents felt if/when they read it. Did they agree with their daughter's portrayal of them and if they did, how do they live with themselves? I am a Christian but I am also the first to admit that if I weren't, some of the Christians I have met would've had me running screaming in the other direction.
This book is not a light read but it's really well written and worth the heart ache you will endure while creating it.
I read this book knowing what I'd be in for regarding the subject matter, Central Indiana, et al. What I was not prepared for was the author's Epilogue which begins on page 349. Julia Scheeres then reveals her own subsequent life happenings that truly brought me to dislike her as well as the book. Liking the author is not required but I found her actions after her brother died to be a the true reflection of who the author really is, not as she portrayed in most of the book.
I finished this book in two days. It is good. It just confirms what I always say: anything in excess is bad..very bad.. like religion. Most of the people I know ( I said "most" and the "ones I know") that are super religiuos (fanatics) are very bad people in real. For some reason I didn't feel bad for the author Is like she could do better and get help but she didn't want to. My respects for David I hope and I believe he is in a much better place.
This memoir of Julia Scheere's conservative Christian upbringing in Indiana with two adopted black brothers in a racially tense era is an engrossing read. I found myself unable to tear myself away from it, even more so when Julia and her brother David get sent to the Christian reform school--Escuela Caribe--that is highly controversial and faces accusations of abuse from alumni. This memoir in a beautiful manner depicts the horror that occurs when fear, anger, and the rod are used when raising children instead of love.