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Shulum Deen is a very gifted writer and his reading was both powerful and pleasant. He was telling a story, not reciting a text. Ironically, it was probably the upbringing that he escaped that allowed him to craft such a beautiful story as he comes from a culture with a strong textual and oral tradition. His story is much more of a Bildungsroman (personal growth tale) than a juicy tell-all. I highly recommend this book.
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This is such an interesting and heartfelt book. It really lifted the veil on a community that I knew very little about. The fact that it is Author-narrated lends credence to the storytelling.
I am grateful to Shulem Deen for writing this book, for choosing to describe the experiences that led him to have to leave a community that, while full of love and faith, would not allow him full autonomy in love or faith or the seeking of knowledge and personal fulfilment. As someone who left a more permissive community and lost my faith for similar reasons to Shulem, and has only recently regained it in a more free form, I am immensely grateful to him for writing everything he wrote. This book made me feel less alone. I hope it helps people of faith and without faith understand the experience of losing faith and losing community, so that we can build better communities in future.