Accidental Jesus Freak: One Woman's Journey from Fundamentalism to Freedom
In 1973, Linda was a flute player and music major at a California community college, until she met and fell madly in love with a charismatic piano player, plunging into his world of music-making and drug-fueled parties. When, just three weeks after their wedding, he reveals that he's been "born again," Linda makes the spontaneous decision to follow him into his new religion and, unwittingly, into a life of communal living, male domination, and magical thinking.
With unflinching candor, Amber Starfire chronicles her journey as Linda Carr into the evangelical church culture, where she gives up everything for her husband and their music ministry. But in the process, she loses her most valuable assets: her identity and sense of self-worth. It is only when Linda returns to live with her birth family and faces her complicated relationship with her mother that she finds new purpose and the courage to begin to extricating herself from the limiting beliefs of her past.
Accidental Jesus Freak is the story of one woman, one marriage, and one kind of fundamentalism, but it is also the story of the healing that is possible when we are true to ourselves. Both a cautionary tale and celebration of personal empowerment, Accidental Jesus Freak is a powerful reminder for anyone who seeks to live a life authentic to who they truly are.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10
Plot: This memoir is an engrossing, skillfully plotted insider's history of the counter-culture movement that will have readers turning pages.
Prose: The prose is strong; the voice is conversational and the writing features some lovely turns of phrase.
Originality: While this memoir treads familiar ground, the author's tale is original, unique, and fascinating.
Character Development: The characters in this memoir are well crafted and vivid. Even minor characters feel fleshed out and real.
Blurb: An unnerving reminder of how easily the mind of an intelligent, independent young woman can be stifled.
Date Submitted: April 11, 2018