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5 Stars Out Of 5
May 25, 2016
This book was recommended to me by a Christian fiction author whose name escapes me. I purchased it for .99 for my Kindle a month or more ago. I finally got around to reading it.
This was a very powerful book. Caralynne Hayman lives within an abusive and controlling religious sect. Even when her daughter is killed, she can't get away. But one day, she decides to take matters into her own hands. People are going to pay.
The book was very hard to read; so much pain and heartache within these women's lives. Told in such a way as to hold the reader's attention thoroughly, it beckons the reader back when necessary life chores call. I wanted to read constantly, yet afraid at what would come next. There were many times a loud gasp escaped my mouth at the turn of events in this tale.
Caralynne has given up on God. What has He done for her except watch her suffer time and time again until she is certain there is no feeling left inside her except for her two remaining daughters. An old friend, Dayne MacFarland, returns home, now an ordained minister. What new torture might this be? Is there any help for her desperate situation?
This is an excellent novel. The kind that makes you reluctant to pick up another book to read after closes its pages on the final word. I highly recommend it.
This is a story set in the present day and revolves around the life of Caralynne Hayman. She is a member of a religious group called The Children of Righteous Cain. Her life is misery at the hands of her abusive husband. Her only joy in life is her two daughters. Her life is extremely restricted and governed by her husband, the elders of the community as well as the lead elder who allegedly receives direct communication from God. Some women receive heinous treatment from the lead elder or other men at the command of the lead elder. He rules his people with an iron fist.
As Caralynne tries to socialize with some of the other women, she sees the signs of abuse they are experiencing as well. She knows this is not how husbands are supposed to treat their wives and encourages the women to stand up for themselves. The new minister, Dayne MacFarland, also preaches new messages from the pulpit about Gods love and how men should treat their wives. As they become more outspoken, they face more and more resistance from the hard core fanatics loyal to the lead elder. Soon their lives are in danger as well as the lives of Caralynnes two young daughters. Caralynne now realizes her community is in fact a cult, one in which women are expected to submit to abuse from their husbands or other men in the community. They are taught that their husbands are the way to salvation. Dayne and Caralynne have had feelings for one another for a long time, but circumstances intervened that made it impossible for them to pursue a relationship. Now circumstances have changed, but living in such a dangerous community with such outspoken beliefs could prove fatal.
I would recommend this for adult readers only. This was a difficult book to read with the physical abuse the women endured. The young teenage girls were programmed to accept a breaking in time by men in the community to prepare them for marriage and to learn how to be a good wife. This leader of this cult was just evil and spread his sickness to others. The author did a good job of creating lots of tension and suspense to keep the story moving at a quick pace. The story is gripping and I wanted to keep reading to see how it ended. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
A child's repressed anguish remains buried deep in her subconscious mind. As an abused adult, hatred surfaces for the self-righteous men in her religious cult. The beliefs taught are based on lies, not biblical principles. Women are trained to be wholly submissive, oftentimes being "broken in" for their wifely duties at a very early age, as young as thirteen. When her abusive husband dies from a heart attack, Caralynne Hayman is finally free of his vile and odious treatment, but the nightmares of her eleven-year-old daughter's abuse and death at the hands of a deranged, demonic cult leader only intensify her fears for her two younger daughters.
The elders hire a former member of the community as their new preacher. Hopeful that Dayne MacFarland will continue to promote the rituals and sinister activities that the head elder has augmented, Elder Simmons finds Dayne's sermons on love and hope in Christ not what he coveted. The elder's plans are thwarted by Dayne's fresh approach and aspirations to teach the cult members about salvation and redemption. His attraction toward Caralynne intensifies the elder's anger and designs to rebuke and discipline her for defiance and rebellion.
In this debut novel, Carole Brown has written a powerfully convincing account of cult activities that exist in our society. She has created characters that are diverse, authentic and credible. The creation of an assemblage of ominous, dark and depraved individuals who know no propriety is powerful. Heinous, inhumane and diabolical activities and corruption throughout this novel evoke intense and powerful emotions. This novel is written with intensity, integrity and candor, a page-turner of epic proportions where redemption is the ultimate objective. I highly recommend this book for those interested in the revelation of cult activities. This book is not for the fainthearted.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman is a compelling read. It is an emotional one. My emotions ran from shock to sympathy to fear to hope and much more. As I read the novel, I began to wonder how many people actually live in cults such as the one in this book, where women and girls are not valued as individuals.
There are numerous interesting and well-developed characters throughout the novel. Caralynne was easy for me to sympathize with, but not easy to like. At more than more point I feared for her sanity, but I realize that her thoughts and actions are her only means of survival and coping with her circumstances. It is sad to discover that the fears with which the women live are very real.
It was encouraging to find the pockets of hope that the author tucked in throughout the book. These kept me going with hope of my own for Caralynne as I finished reading her story.