“The situations and the people are spot on regarding what history has shown is endemic inside Christian fundamentalism. This book made me cry on a few occasions due to the familiar atmosphere Walker created… the dogma of female submission and powerlessness, the spirit-crushing demands of obedience, the injustices. I recommend this book for all who have escaped fundamentalism, those who are currently within a fundamentalist community, & those who have friends of loved ones who have come from fundamentalism. If you want to know what it is like to be under a fundamentalist rule, this is the book for you. I commend the author on his accuracy in depicting not only the overt of this culture, but also in the nuance. It is the everyday counterintuitive instruction that indoctrinates a person, after all.”
“In these pages are some hard-hitting descriptions of the mental, emotional and sometimes physical consequences of these practices. Her universe is crazy with perverts and molesters supported by those who think it amounts to God’s will and thus refuse to deal with it. It also touches upon inferior investigation techniques such as those used in the now-discredited McMartin investigation, which for a while set back the whole area of child memories as an investigative tool. All sides of the subject are examined. If there’s one moral in this book, it’s if you know something, report it. Now the law requires it for some investigators. Just ask Penn State.”
Sarah Starr teaches fifth grade English at Diadem Christian Academy in Crane City, California. Adam, her husband, is pursuing a masters in biblical studies when both learn troubling news. Chelsea, their daughter, claims she has been abused by Dr. Roger Bunyan, Jr, the founder of their bible college and former pastor of Diadem Baptist Church.
Sarah and Adam want to do the right thing by scripture. Instead of withdrawing her from Diadem Christian Academy, they keep Chelsea at Diadem to teach her that Christians can resolve their differences in a godly manner. Sarah’s odyssey takes her on an insane journey into the absurdities of fundamentalism, Christian education, abusive children’s homes, mission board policies, internet advocacy, politics, entertainment and mass media evangelism until she witnesses the disturbing, but inevitable, conclusion.
The Last Fundamentalist spans three generations of abuse. This novel demonstrates how true closure can be found in a society where both the justice system and religious institutions actively work to sabotage that goal.
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