Another Hour on a Sunday Morning

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( 14,273 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780091797119: Another Hour on a Sunday Morning

Betrayed by her parents, taken away from everything she knows - this is the unforgettable true story of a brutal childhood of institutionalized abuse. One of the most compelling, page-turning memoirs to come along in years - by turns jarring, shocking, and funny. "Another Hour on a Sunday Morning" is the story of two children growing up in fundamentalist Christian America. Sinners go to: Hell. Rightchuss go to: Heaven. The end is neer: Repent. This here is: Jesus Land. Julia Scheeres stumbles across these signs along the side of a cornfield while out biking with her adopted brother, David. It's the mid-1980s, they're sixteen years old and have just moved to rural Indiana, a landscape of cottonwood trees and trailer parks - and a racism neither of them is prepared for. While Julia is white, her close relationship with David, who is black, makes them both outcasts. At home, a distant mother (more involved with her church's missionaries than with her own children) and a violent father only compound their problems. When the day comes that high-school hormones, bullying, and a deep-seated restlessness prove too much to bear, the parents send Julia and David to the Dominican Republic to a 1980s Christian version of Brat Camp. In this riveting memoir, first-time author, Scheeres takes us with her from the Midwest to a place beyond our imagining. Surrounded by natural beauty, the Escuela Caribe is governed by a disciplinary regime that demands its teens repent for their sins under boot-camp conditions. Julia and David's determination to make it through their childhood and the camp with heart and soul intact is told here with immediacy, candor and sparkling humour. Mesmerising and unputdownable - like "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs or "Once In A House On Fire" by Andrea Ashworth, "Another Hour on a Sunday Morning" is unforgettable.

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Review:

'The grace and emotional brawn that carried Julia Scheeres through the pummeling brutality of her youth has enabled her to tell the tale with a measured intensity that pulls you to her side and keeps you there. I could not stop reading this book.' Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers; 'I am still thinking of Jesus Land long after finishing it. I was drawn in by how genuine it was, and I am in absolute awe of the violence, racism, and neglect in their outwardly Christian family. As I was reading I wished that I could have stepped in to save them all.' Wendy Manning, Third Place Books; 'I spent the whole day yesterday reading Jesus Land, which I liked so much because I liked Julia so much. She's a tough and wise narrator with a marvelous sense of humor. I had to remind myself that this was non-fiction, that real people experienced this.' Mark Laframboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore; 'This unsparing memoir tells a sad and poignant tale of abuse, allenation, and ultimately personal redemption that was reminiscent of Mary Karry's The Liar's Club. Julia's always hopeful voice lent humanity to the story and made me imagine her as a flower that grows between the unforgiving cracks in a sidewalk.' Danielle Marshall, Powell's Books"

From the Publisher:

Betrayed by her parents, taken away from everything she knows - the unforgettable true story of a brutal childhood of institutionalized abuse

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Scheeres, Julia
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