Jesus Land: A Memoir

Jesus Land: A Memoir

For Julia Scheeres and her adopted brother David, "Jesus Land" stretched from their parents' fundamentalist home, past the hostilities of high school, and deep into a Christian reform school in the Dominican Republic. For these two teenagers - brother and sister, black and white - the 1980s were a trial by fire. In this memoir, Scheeres takes us from the familiar Midwest, a For Julia Scheeres and her adopted brother David, "Jesus Land" stretched from their parents' fundamentalist home, pas...

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Title:Jesus Land: A Memoir
Author:Julia Scheeres
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:Jesus Land : A Memoir
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:363 pages pages

Jesus Land: A Memoir Reviews

  • K
    Oct 25, 2009
    Julia Scheeres's train wreck of a memoir is divided into two parts. The first focuses on her upbringing in a strict, abusive Calvinist family. In an apparently self-deluded display of Christian charity her parents have adopted two black boys, whom they not only abuse but fail to protec...
  • misha
    Sep 16, 2007
    Such a tragic, heart breaking story that once again, just makes me want to go find some kid and just hug them. The amount of abuse that these kids went through made for a tough read. It's interesting to read this after The Glass Castle and Running with Scissors, other stories about equ...
  • LARRY
    Jun 19, 2007
    As posted in [http://www.amazon.com]: Oh. My. Goodness! Julia writes this honest memoir of her Christian childhood. However, the Christian family is nothing but a facade to impress the members of the local Calvinist church. Julia's mom is obsessed with missionaries and constantly pl...
  • Philip
    Jan 12, 2009
    What is a Christian? Really. I was reading an article on CNN about Rob Bell?s new book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived and about half-way through the article there?s a girl CNN was asking about Bell. From the article: ?...Today she ...
  • Jae Ran
    May 24, 2007
    I thought this was a thoughtful and harrowing memoir. As a transracial adoptee who was adopted into a fundamental Christian home and who also had siblings "homegrown" to my a-parents, I found this memoir quite interesting - especially the first half dealing with their teen years in a s...
  • Lisa
    Mar 20, 2018
    4.5 stars Once I got into this book, I couldn?t put it down, letting my other books sit so I could finish it. I?ve had it on my shelf for a long time and finally decided to pick it up and so glad that I did. An amazing, sorrowful memoir that I recommend to everyone. ...
  • Jennifer
    Mar 18, 2009
    Fascinating & shocking look at life in a conservative Christian family in the bible belt. I was horrified by the racism, emotional abuse and physical abuse that these kids suffered at the hands of their parents and the Christian reform school they were sent to. I really didn't know...
  • Debbie
    Mar 05, 2008
    Yeah, it was entertaining, the way a Lifetime movie is entertaining. I read it in about three hours, and I'm a slow reader. Scheeres's writing is catchy, if a bit high falutin' in parts. I had to occasionally put this book down, roll my eyes, and laugh. Such dysfunction! Every child...
  • Rachel
    Nov 14, 2007
    A gift from my dear sister to give me insight into my new home -- Indiana. I haven't met any folk that resemble those depicted in this book yet, but I wonder if I'd recognize them if I did - they seem somewhat caricatured in the book. This is a memoir of a woman whose family adopte...
  • MistyAnne
    May 14, 2008
    Julia Scheeres's memoir is perhaps one of the most haunting, powerful memoirs I've read. She details the heart-wrenching abuse she endured at the hands of her Christian family and the abusive reform school she attended with her adopted African American brother in the Dominican Republic...
  • Rachel
    Apr 24, 2008
    Many people on this forum say it was hard or impossible to believe that all of these things could have happened to one person. But I have no trouble believing these things could have happened - in my job I hear these kind of stories every day. One person said that the author should hav...
  • Antoinette
    Oct 22, 2007
    The events in this memoir are incredibly tragic, as is the approach to explaining them. Overall, a compelling childhood presented in a childish way. The relationship between David and Julia is heartbreaking. A black adopted brother, the privileged white biological daughter that loves h...
  • Elyse Walters
    Sep 25, 2015
    This is an oldie! I read this long before I was writing reviews --- I was looking through my Friday reviews this morning by many of you charming people --when I came across this book again. This book is another reminder of how religion can go wrong-wrong-wrong! **NOTE: Its...
  • Joe
    Nov 23, 2007
    I cried when I read the last line of Julia Scheeres tragic and touching memoir. Scheeres sucked me into her life and I couldn't put the book down for a second. My blood boiled at several points through out the book. Is it truly possible that people can be so heartless and cruel? Is it ...
  • Catherine
    Oct 25, 2016
    My 7-year-old son saw me reading this book. Son: Why are you reading a book called Jesus Land? Me: It's a true story, about this girl... Oh, here, read the back. Son (after reading the back of the book): Why are you reading about a girl with a messed up life? Me: I don't know. ...
  • Darnell
    Mar 31, 2008
    This memoir points out a lot of the problems I have with certain religious types. The author's parents adopt two black children in the name of charity but then proceed to neglect all of their children, trying to substitute their own lack of ability to love with God's love. Things ge...
  • fortuna.spinning
    Feb 14, 2017
    "Just as Jesus requires blind faith from his believers, we require blind faith from our students." Julia's narrative flows like a well-written novel which I appreciate because it broaches some tremendously tough subjects: racism, religion, mental, physical, and sexual abuse. Th...
  • Kim
    Nov 02, 2008
    Only read this book if you want to become depressed. It is very well written and the characters are so memorable but the story is just too hard to take at times. One of the people in my book club expained it best by stating that sometimes you had to walk away from it to be able to fini...
  • Stephanie
    Jun 09, 2012
    If you read one memoir this year it needs to be this one. Written by Julia Scheeres from the LA Times, it is an incredibly powerful story of growing up in an incredibly horrible yet somehow religious family with 2 adopted black brothers. She tells the story of sexual abuse from one of ...
  • Caroline
    Dec 22, 2012
    ***NO SPOILERS*** Heartbreaking, shocking, touching, angering. This book is these things and more. Like The Glass Castle: A Memoir, Jesus Land is a memoir of an imperfect--to put it mildly--childhood. This riveting account opens with Julia Scheeres as a desperate sixteen-year-old. S...
  • Jen
    May 03, 2016
    I've finished the this book and still can't believe it happened. I kept having to remind myself that it was nonfiction. ...
  • Melki
    Jun 01, 2011
    Schadenfruede or just curiosity? I do seem to have a fascination for reading about those who've had unpleasant childhoods - "The Glass Castle," "Running with Scissors" and now "Jesus Land." What a sad, sad memoir, yet the author tells her tale matter-of-factly - no self-pity here. Sche...
  • Debbie Mcnulty
    Jul 14, 2012
    I really had to think how I was going to talk about this book. As I read about Julia?s life there were many times I wanted to quit. Not because of her writing style but because the story was so hard to digest. I come from a hard childhood myself and this memoir dredged up some diffic...
  • Cherie
    Jan 26, 2013
    I was told not to focus on the cover, that this book was not about religion. The person who told me so, was correct. The book was about what people do in the name of religion. It was also about bigotry and racism. This book is a Memior, written by a woman who's strictly devout Midweste...
  • Charles
    Aug 28, 2015
    I think I?m well-positioned to review this book, because I grew up with Julia and David Scheeres. More precisely, we all went to Lafayette Christian School through eighth grade. Both Julia and David were in my brother?s elementary school class, one year ahead of me. Jerome, her old...
  • Canice
    Jul 24, 2017
    As a reader, I seem to specialize in literary nonfiction and memoir that can include the word "harrowing" in any review. I greatly appreciated Scheeres' "A Thousand Lives" (about the Peoples Temple/Jonestown) some years ago, and finally picked up Jesus Land when I stumbled upon it ...
  • Heather
    May 15, 2013
    Good book, although disturbing. After reading Jesus Land, it's hard to believe that folks still insist on taking the Bible as a literal, concrete set of instructions... I mean, in Proverbs alone there are highly offensive passages such as the one often quoted by the 'missionaries' in t...
  • Susan Bazzett-Griffith
    Jan 06, 2017
    An excellent memoir about the highly dysfunctional Scheeres family, a middle class family of Calvinists in Indiana. The (self proclaimed) religious parents adopted some African-American children when they were young, and though they raised these two boys with their family, never did th...
  • Consuelo Mendoza
    Dec 20, 2013
    Julia Scheeres' Jesus Land tells the story of Julia and her brother David, both sixteen-year-olds of different races who are insulted and humiliated due to their love for each other as brother and sister. This book is set up on the rural part of Indiana during the 1980's, when racism w...
  • Daniel Casey
    Apr 27, 2017
    Having been raised by reactionary fundamentalist Christians in the rural upper Midwest, I found Scheeres prose unsettling in its utter accuracy. Both brutal and banal, she writes of casual as well as overt racism, sexual abuse that's all too common, and the aggressively ignorant belief...