Beautiful and haunting, Beyond the Cabin by Jared Nathan Garrett is a sometimes disturbing, sometimes enlightening journey into the confines of a reclusive cult where fourteen-year-old Joshua Kerr just wants to grow up normal, in a normal family. His internal struggle to rise above fear and anger—and his ultimate success in doing so—greatly contrasts the false images of piety portrayed by the neglectful and controlling adults of the group. The scenes of cold indifference, glaring hypocrisy, and swift injustice will have the reader cheering for Joshua’s plans for escape. But what Joshua ends up doing, in the end . . . or rather what he discovers about himself . . . will truly touch the reader’s heart.
One of the best books I have read this year, I wholeheartedly recommend Beyond the Cabin!
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From the back cover of the book:
This book is inspired by true events.
Fourteen-year-old Josh longs to get away from the Fundamental Faith. Although cult life is all he’s known, he refuses to give in to the group’s weird mix of hyper control and near-total neglect. Josh and his oldest brother, Malachi, plan to escape from the cult, but when Malachi leaves Josh behind, Josh has to find a way to survive the isolation of being surrounded by abusive people he will never understand. Or get out on his own.
Within months of leaving, Malachi is killed in a drug deal gone bad. Now Josh somehow has to grieve while coping with a tyrannical cult leader – who also happens to be his mother – and his own terrifying temper. Lonely and afraid, he surprises himself by making a connection with one of the girls in the cult. Before long, Josh begins to understand that his isolation is self-inflicted, and the other kids need him. But he still craves the freedom of the outside world.
After being abandoned by everyone he should be able to depend on, Josh has to decide if, by escaping, he is abandoning the young people he has finally grown to love and who now see him as a protector.