The Truth Book: Escaping a Childhood of Abuse Among Jehovah’s Witnesses

Joy Castro

Don’t let the subtitle scare you off. Joy Castro’s memoir of a childhood spent in an abusive, dysfunctional family is neither an indictment of an offbeat religious sect nor your typical “surviving a hellish childhood” screed. While Castro’s oblivious door-knocking mother, stepfather from hell and self-centered father come in for their share of criticism, the memoir concentrates instead on Castro’s journey from judgment of others to self-blame to self-confidence, and eventually to a literary life. Castro’s got a readable style and a great sense of humor, especially considering the subject matter. There’s enough blame to go around—and she doesn’t let anyone off the hook—but at least in Castro’s story, there’s also a bit of forgiveness.