To the Moon and Back

A Childhood Under the Influence

Non-Fiction - Memoir
250 Pages
Reviewed on 02/14/2019
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Author Biography

"The best seats I ever had at Madison Square Garden were at my mother's wedding, and the best cocaine I ever had was from my father's friend the judge." This is how i describe my childhood.

I wrote To the Moon and Back to share a message of home and love. I am a writer, teacher, and public speaker, and I own a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm ( I work to bring to others the tools, mind-shifts, and practices I've found that have helped me heal, as well as the hope and forgiveness I've been blessed to let into my life. I will always tell you that I am a native New Yorker, but I currently lives in Pennsylvania with my husband and two children, whenever they’re around.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

To the Moon and Back: A Childhood Under the Influence by Lisa Kohn is a gritty memoir of abuse. At an early age, Lisa was exposed to abuse, including cocaine, even received from a judge. It just seemed natural for a child who had no other values as an alternative. Now entrenched in a cult in New York, founded by the self-proclaimed messiah, Sun Myung Moon, Lisa Kohn and her brother, Robbie, found a point of reference. But the sense of belonging that the cult gave her soon metamorphosed into a struggle to break free from it. Follow her story to discover powerful lessons on inner freedom and self-conquest.

Told in a strong and convincing voice, To the Moon and Back: A Childhood Under the Influence is a story that reflects the author’s honesty and courage. While Lisa Kohn tells readers an engaging story, she also sprinkles it with insights and reflections that are illuminating and filled with wisdom. Here is an example: “As a kid you misinterpret the nasty things that happen to and around you, and you somehow believe you’re to blame. As a young adult I internalized this more and more.” The writing is engaging, with scenes that are focused, characters that are emotionally and psychologically rich, and commentaries that explore elements of the setting and the dynamics of family.

The conflict is introduced at the very beginning of the narrative: “My brother says that we were raised by wolves. I don’t always agree with him, but I don’t have a more accurate description of our upbringing.” Lisa notes that a friend of hers pointed out how wolves raise their young with more structure than her parents gave them. The conflict develops at different levels and crystallizes in the internal conflict in which the author makes hard and difficult choices. This book has powerful lessons for people trapped in a life under the influence, a story filled with love and hope.