Sunday, April 20

Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther


Life in The Assembly seemed normal to Elizabeth Esther…at first. From a young age she was trained in street preaching, preparing for the apocalypse, and raised so that she could become a proper submissive wife someday. Sinning could lead to spankings and the fear of the wrath of God. Even infants were punished so that they could more properly learn their place. When Elizabeth expresses her interest in extracurricular programs at school, her parents insist that she instead devout her time to The Assembly. Her father then tells her (in complete seriousness), “’Well, since I’m your father and have authority over you until you’re married…God’s will for you comes through me!’”

As she grew older, Elizabeth began to question the teachings of The Assembly. But the leadership was heavy handed, and included members of her own family. All of her life she had learned to submit to them, and fear had been instilled in her. Still, she began to question The Assembly, but it wasn’t until she was grown and married that she began to see beyond the walls of this cult.


A couple times I had to put this book down, but not because of lack of interested. The story drew me in and I wanted to learn more of Elizabeth’s story. But there were times that the actions of The Assembly and its members were so terrible, that I had to take a break.

Elizabeth writes with raw honesty. Her story is gripping and through her writing you can feel the pain she experienced. I cannot imagine how hard it was for Elizabeth to recount these stories, where women are marginalized and children are abused. Girl at the End of the World shows the dark side of a ‘church’ held under the power of a single man. It shows how religious fervor can be twisted into using the name of Jesus but not reflecting his teaching. This is not always an easy book to read, but it is an important one.

4/5 Stars

Read Chapter 1 here.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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