32. Julia Scheeres – Jesus Land

Wow, I really suck at posting!

But actually, I just really suck at reading lately. I started one book and was really not into it, but I tried to stick it out. Eventually, I gave up on it, but it took up a huge chunk of time when I could have been reading other books!

So, my sister recommended this book to me because she knows I like to read memoirs. It’s called Jesus Land, written by a woman named Julia Scheeres who grew up in a really religious household. Julia has three biological siblings and two black brothers that her parents adopted. One of the boys, David, was the same age as Julia, so they grew up together and were extremely close.

Julia Scheeres - Jesus Land (photo taken by me)
Julia Scheeres – Jesus Land (photo taken by me)

The story starts out when Julia and David were 16 and had just moved to a new town, where David clearly isn’t welcome. We get to hear about their lives at school and in their home, where their mother doesn’t really care for them and their dad is very violent. 

Julia talks about her life, both at home and at school, for about half of the book. At the end of that first half, David gets sent to a religious reform school in the Dominican Republic, and Julia soon follows him. The second half of the book explains their time at the school.

I really enjoyed this book. It took a while for me to get into it, but after that, I couldn’t put it down. My only complaint is the about the transition between Julia at home and Julia at the reform school. David left for the Dominican about six months (if I remember correctly) before Julia did, but we hear very little about her time without him. She gives a brief explanation of what happened to her, but I really would have liked more detail.

Also, I can understand why she ended the story where she did, but I honestly would have liked to read more about her life. It was really interesting.

I thought this book was a really good read. It’s eye-opening and shows that not all religious families really practice what they preach or are very loving homes. The same can be said for the reform school Julia and David attended, which had very strict and ridiculous rules. All in all, Julia has a great story to tell and I would gladly read more about it.

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