My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.41 with 1,498 ratings (as of 10/4/18)
The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.
Before, she lived inside the fence. Before, she was never allowed to leave the property, never allowed to talk to Outsiders, never allowed to speak her mind. Because Father John controlled everything—and Father John liked rules. Disobeying Father John came with terrible consequences.
But there are lies behind Father John’s words. Outside, there are different truths.
Then came the fire. “After the Fire” on Goodreads
200 Word Review
I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.
“After the Fire” is a chilling look at a young adult’s tale of growing up in and surviving a fictional cult. I have read from the perspective of an adult but this was through the eyes of a young girl, “Moonbeam”. She lived for years in the fanatical religious cult with her mother and her “brothers” and “sisters”. We are given a glimpse into her thought process, her true faith, and relationships with the other cult members.
By Will Hill selecting Moonbeam as his central character to tell the story of what happened before and after the fire, we are able to empathize with her and the other “family” members. As with any group, there are good and bad, young and old, male and female. We are able to see they are regular, every day people who believe they are following a prophet.
“After the Fire” was inspired by the 1993 Waco siege in which members of the Branch Davidian sect, including children, and government agents died in a fire fight. This story imagines what it was like to like in a similar base (Moonbeam does not like the word compound) and is told mostly through an interview and flashbacks.