Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth EstherA story of mind control, the Apocalypse, and modest attire.

Elizabeth Esther grew up in love with Jesus but in fear of daily spankings {to “break her will”}. Trained in her family~run church to confess sins real and imagined, she knew her parents loved her and God probably hated her. Not until she was grown and married did she find the courage to attempt the unthinkable. To leave.

In her memoir, readers will recognize questions every believer faces: When is spiritual zeal a gift, and when is it a trap? What happens when a pastor holds unchecked sway over his followers? And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Girl at the End of the World is a story of the lingering effects of spiritual abuse and the growing hope that God can still be good when His people fail.


Elizabeth Esther is the author of Girl at the End of the World: my escape from fundamentalism in search of faith with a future. She is a popular, award~winning blogger, and advocate for children’s rights. She appeared on Anderson Cooper LIVE to confront the abusive child spanking practices of Mike and Debi Pearl. Her writing has appeared in Mothering Magazine, OC Family, and The Orange County Register. She is a contributing writer for Deeper Story. Elizabeth is a mother of five and lives with her husband and family in Tustin, California.


In the interest of full disclosure, I grew up Pentecostal Holiness ~ meaning that I grew up sharing some of the same beliefs as Elizabeth Esther {minus the baby spanking and communal living}…

Honestly, I’m not sure what I think of this book. It’s not one of those books that I can rate as “good” or “bad” because this is the author’s memories and her feelings. I can tell you that this book is not for anyone who is questioning their faith or has issues with “organized religion”. This book will only confirm those negatively held beliefs…

My heart aches for Elizabeth Esther and all that she went through. And it breaks my heart that there are preachers who manipulate God’s word in such a way that it has caused her and others like her so much mental, emotional, and spiritual trauma. I’ve been there. I know the dangers of “church hurt”. I’m still dealing with the aftermath.

And as someone who had to find her own way back to God, let me advise you to read the Bible for yourself, find a church that teaches from the bible, and if the leadership attempts to exert too much control over your life, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY.

Salvation is a gift, Ephesians 2:8 {NIV} says:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith ~ and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God ~

The reason for God’s gift is given in John 3:16 {NIV}, which says:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God loves you, it’s as simple as that.

Note: This book includes triggers and some strong language.


Daenel T




Disclaimer: Thank you to Convergent Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.