A Book Worth Mentioning

I finished this book before I left for vacation, but had no time to write anything about it until now. I’ll admit that the neat cover of Jesus Land first attracted me to it. I find that memoirs can be tricky things; Too often people often feel that their lives are a lot more interesting than they really are. Julia Scheeres’ life on the other hand is one definitely worth reading about, and not only for her graceful writing. The title of her book comes from a sign the author stumbled across when she moved to rural Indiana with her parents and 2 adopted brothers, who are African-American. It’s the mid-80s, the same era in which I grew up, but our lives could not be more different. Her dismissive, extremely religious mother and abusive father do nothing to soften the harshness of the intolerance and cruelty the children suffer. Rather, they add to an already difficult life. Eventually, Julia follows her brother David to the Dominican Republic to a reform school, where life does not get any easier. This is no tell-all about an unjust childhood. Rather Julia Scheere’ candor and lovely writing make this memoir seem like more of a catharsis and I found it difficult to put down.