One Woman's Recovery from Abuse and a Religious Cult

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
346 Pages
Reviewed on 01/31/2014
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Author Biography

Jenny Hayworth (1965-) was born in England, emigrating in 1968 with her parents to Australia when she was only 2 years old, and then moving to New Zealand at the age of 9 years. She returned to Australia in 1997 and has lived there ever since.

Her first book, a memoir, Inside/Outside was published in January 2014 by Createspace. She lives with her husband, who is also a writer, in a blended family with 3 of their teenage sons still living at home and 3 adult children living away from home, now making their own way in the world. She also shares her space with 2 dogs, 2 cats and 4 chooks, and proudly shows off her permaculture food forest and perennial garden she has created in her backyard.

Jenny completed her Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology in 2010, and currently works with prisoners. She was in the cult-like religion known as Jehovah's Witnesses for over 30 years, after her parent's joined when she was only 5 years old. After she left, she was announced as "dissassociated" and was treated as if dead by her mother and all her friends who remained in the faith. She is well equipped to offer support and share her story with others who have experienced shunning and estrangement from their families due to religious fundamentalism. She is an advocate for those who have experienced child abuse and are trying to recover as adults, and also has a passionate interest in advocating and supporting refugees.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Inside/Outside: One Woman's Recovery from Abuse and a Religious Cult by Jenny Hayworth is an honest depiction of the author's life. Jenny Hayworth belonged to a family who were followers of the religion Jehovah's Witnesses. Jenny left it after following it for thirty years of her life. In the meantime, the church had let go of her from their group. In this book she takes us through her journey of surviving sexual abuse and further working on her recovery and exploring religious fundamentalism. Though the story begins on a traumatic note, she shows us how the experiences in her life change her perception, outlook, and connection with the outside world. From a closed society, she reinvents her life all over again to start afresh.

The book is an inspiring story for those who are going through traumatic times in their personal space. Being shunned by her family, the author tells readers that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Readers can actually use this book as a guide to help them face their problems and emerge triumphant. It is motivating to see the author overcome her personal tragedies and sorrows. The fact that it is a true story of hope and healing makes it more inspiring.

Some of the scenes in the book are raw and honest. That makes it a compelling read. The book is also very uplifting. The author reaches out to people and connects with them through her personal experiences, making the book tangible.