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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.