Piper was raised in a cult. She just doesn't know it.
Seventeen-year-old Piper knows that Father is a Prophet. Infallible. The chosen one.
She would do anything for Father. That's why she takes care of all her little sisters. That's why she runs end-of-the-world drills. That's why she never asks questions. Because Father knows best.
Until the day he doesn't. Until the day the government raids the compound and separates Piper from her siblings, from Mother, from the Aunts, from all of Father's followers--even from Caspian, the boy she loves.
Now Piper is living Outside. Among Them.
With a woman They claim is her real mother--a woman They say Father stole her from.
But Piper knows better. And Piper is going to escape.
There's a video on YouTube called "Mind Control Made Easy" which is about the psychology of cult leaders. It's clearly low budget, but very well done in spite of that. I have never been 100% sure whether it was intended to be satirical/comedic or not, because while it is funny at times, that humor is rooted in a very dark truth: no matter how ridiculous what they are saying is, these tactics have worked before by real cult leaders.
I read a lot of nonfiction books and memoirs about cults and extreme fundamentalist religions a few years ago because that's what I do: I get interested in a topic, obsess over it, only to lose interest and forget about it a few years later. I always found them both horrific and fascinating-- it chilled me that people could be so unquestioning, so blindly trusting; it felt like a grievous oversight in the hard-wiring of our brains to make us this "hackable." How can things like this happen? I wondered.
THE LIAR'S DAUGHTER takes that concept and really races off with it. Piper is a teenager who has spent her whole life being raised in a cult. She loves her Mother and Father, and does not question them-- even when their asks are big and dangerous, and might involve abuse, drugs, or underage marriage. Her parents want only the best for her mind and body, and every unpleasant thing is a test to judge if she is ready for enlightenment. Told in BEFORE and AFTER, THE LIAR'S DAUGHTER explores what a cult upbringing would do to a child's psychology and how hard it might be for her to go back.
Piper is a really difficult character to like. Her upbringing has made her cruel and insensitive, as the cult she's in rewards people for ratting each other out. She is quick to turn her back on those who are closest to her if she thinks it'll get her a pat on the head from an adult figure. In the AFTER portion of the book, she is suspicious, sly, and selfish, and the things she does to her real mother, Jeannie, are unspeakably cruel-- especially one thing she does towards the end that made me want to slap her. I had to keep reminding myself that to Piper, Jeannie was the interloper, the kidnapper, the bad person who had a hand in her being forcibly removed from an environment that felt comfortable and familiar, no matter how horrible and abusive it seemed to us, the reader. It was sickening.
I think this is a good book, but I didn't really enjoy reading it. Piper was truly horrid and the content was very dark. I found it fascinating from that morbidly curious angle that motivated me to go out and buy all those books about cults in the first place, but I don't really think a book that made me as angry and upset as this one did can really be considered "enjoyable" or "fun." Kids will probably get a kick out of it though, as Cooley Peterson never talks down to her young adult audience or writes as if she thinks that they won't be able to handle it, and I really respect that in a YA author.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Piper doesn’t realize she’s living in a cult. When she and the other children are rescued, she longs to return to Mother and Father.
Told in Before and After sections, Piper’s last days in the cult and her first days afterward tell the story of THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER. Megan Cooley Peterson hooked me from the first chapter and I immediately invested in Piper’s story. She was such a resilient young woman and my heart broke for the brainwashing she endured. I wanted to jump into the Before chapters and tell her not to trust and into the After chapters and tell her to trust.
Peterson gives enough detail of the cult abuse to make me cringe but not so much I wanted to skip over those descriptions. Her storytelling could be called story-showing. I was disappointed to see Peterson hadn’t written other YA books.
While THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER had revelations, none were surprising. I don’t think Peterson intended shocking reveals but steady aha moments so that readers could be slightly ahead of Piper’s learning curve.
After finishing THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER, I kept thinking about Piper, hoping that she was okay after the book ended.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, Holiday House Publishing, Inc., via Edelweiss+ for an honest review.
“The window is no more than two feet wide and maybe half a foot tall. I can't squeeze through it. It's meant to let in sunlight, not hope.”
This is the story of a girls path to self-discovery.
The weaving of lies into truth.
The voices that are battered into ones brain so a person ceases to think for themselves.
It is the story of a life lost, a life gained, and the art of creating a world of both.
Piper has one dream: to make her Father proud and to finally be initiated into the community as an adult. She has spent her entire life breathing in his teachings and doing anything in her power to make him proud. She is the perfect sibling, ensuring all the littles are well cared for and that everyone acts their best. Because the outside world is toxic, and they are humanities only chance at survival. She knows the government seeks to control its people with pharmaceutical drugs and lies, pumping bodies full of toxins in order to keep them spending money. But Piper knows the truth. That all They do is lie, and that Father knows best. Because Father is a prophet, and Mother and Father would never lead her astray. They love her, and everything they do is to keep their family safe.
The Community is Truth.
The Community is Loyalty.
The Community will keep you safe.
The Liar's Daughter takes the reader to “before” and “after” Pipers time living at the community. The “before” portrays memories of what she calls home, a small house near a lake and an abandoned amusement park. Piper describes this place as if it's heaven on earth. The peacefulness, beauty and sense of freedom. She is a girl of great gratitude and happiness for what she has, and the family she is blessed with.
But when we go to the “after”, it is Piper in present time after being taken out of the community. She is unable to discern delusions from reality, or memories from hallucinations. She is in a state of confusion, a haze of sadness and anger for being ripped from her parents and siblings. She believes she is being held against her will, kidnapped and held captive. She is fearful of what being on the Outside will do to her body and health. She refers to her new family as They and Them-those who mean her harm and feed her lies.
“These people must've gotten into my head somehow, altered my memories.
What else could explain what's happening?”
My love for Piper goes deep, because I was on this ride of discovery with her. I felt her confusion, her pain, her anger for being ripped from those she loves. Every day in the present is a time of mourning for her, and a search to figure out how to escape and run back to Mother and Father. I couldn't help but share in the injustice of the situation with her. How dare these people rip her away from her siblings, her life of freedom. She was happy where she was, even if those on the Outside see it differently.
“How does it feel? I want to ask. To have everything that's precious to you taken away?”
It may seem strange to hear that I see any sort of an injustice for a girl to be returned to a home she was taken from first. To see her ripped from a family that brainwashed her, that gave her barely enough food. But that is where things get tricky, isn't it? Piper only remembered her life at the community, and she fiercely loved those around her. Is it the best thing for her to be ripped from those people, and thrust back into the arms of people who are now strangers to her? In the long run, maybe. But watching her try to piece her life together. Her own thoughts, her own emotions...it was hard to witness.
“I want to be seen.”
It takes true talent to write the leader of a cult in a way where the reader is able to understand JUST how alluring he is. He is sensible, his arguments have just cause, and he makes you want to leave your cellphone behind and live a life off the grid. This is one of the first fiction stories about a cult I have read that really captures the essence of how enticing and pragmatic a cult leader can be. They weave promises into lies masquerading as truths, and everything feels and sounds so real and possible, until you realize it isn't.
“Monsters don't have empathy. They have sharp claws and teeth that thirst for blood.”
This story turned out to be a delicate and sorrowful tale, but ultimately, one of hope and recovery. Piper is a gentle character who has so much love in her heart, and only wants to make people proud of her. She wants to be seen and acknowledged, to be loved and adored. I really appreciated the author shedding light on how Piper's time in the Community affected those around her. It twisted the knife that was already protruding from my stomach, and then gave it a little extra shake when you begin to see the truth of what happened to her and her family. This is an amazing book that I think everyone should read. If this topic is usually sensitive to you, I do want to express that it doesn't go into anything graphic and it isn't a dark and evil book. It is a truly beautiful and delicate tale, and I highly suggest it be devoured.
3,5.. A premissa do livro foi o que me chamou a atenção, contudo esperava bastante mais da história e acho que tinha potencial para muito mais... ficou um pouco aquém. Contudo foi uma boa leitura para passar o tempo.. mas nada que se torne memorável;)
A Piper, tem 17 anos e é filha de um profeta. Obedece e respeita o pai e a mãe, toma conta dos vários irmãos, vive isolada do mundo exterior e prepara-se para um apocalipse, porque foi assim que foi ensinada, sem questionar ou contestar. Até ao dia em que tudo muda e é levada para o 'Exterior'. Nesta nova realidade, Piper confronta-se com uma visão diferente do que foi a sua vida até à data, com muitas dúvidas sobre o que é real ou imaginação e em quem deve confiar.
Passei grande parte do livro sem perceber bem o que é que se estava a passar na vida da Piper de tão surreal e perturbador. A narrativa alterna entre o passado e o presente, sem conseguirmos perceber bem o que se está a passar ou mesmo o que se passou, mas a escrita é bastante simples, os capítulos curtos e acaba por ser de leitura viciante e intensa. É importante também referir que o livro é baseado na vida real da autora e na sua experiência pessoal com este tema.
É sobre verdade, sobre mentira, sobre esperança, sobre segurança, sobre liderança, sobre ídolos, sobre culto, sobre poder, sobre crença, sobre medo, sobre saúde mental, mas também sobre amor verdadeiro, sobre família, sobre amizade e lealdade.
É um young adult, psicologicamente difícil, que nos chama a atenção para temas que, apesar de poderem ser considerados pouco comuns, podem acontecer a qualquer um.
Não posso dizer que este seja um livro de fácil leitura, é certo que não se debruça de forma excessiva na violência do rapto infantil mas vamos acompanhar as dúvidas de uma jovem raptada em criança. O que é real?! A luta da mente para conseguir identificar o certo e o errado! Uma luta difícil. O livro está bem escrito e tem capítulos muito pequenos, escrito em dois tempos e vamos acompanhando o antes e o depois da vivência no culto. Só tive pena de não ver mais desenvolvido a relação da Piper e do Cas. As notas da autora tb merecem ser lidas. Todos nós queremos pertencer a algo ou alguém!
Piper knows her father is the Chosen One. He is a Prophet that is hoping to protect the people from the Government, from the poisonous food, from the radiation of cell phones. Living with the other children far from the community, Piper helps manage the other children and run end-of-the-world drills, preparing herself and the others for the day when they will be called upon. Only, that day doesn't come and Piper's father might not be telling the truth, because the Government has broken apart the community and Piper finds herself in a strange house, with a strange woman they say is her real mother, and with no idea what has happened to her siblings or the boy she loves. Ripped from the life she knows, Piper grapples with what she believes is the truth and the story she is being told, that she had been kidnapped and that everything she once knew was a lie.
Told from Piper's perspective, The Liar's Daughter alternates between past and present, giving readers a glimpse into life before and after the cult. Rather than focusing on the cult itself, something many authors do, Megan Cooley Peterson gives us only the perspective of one teen, Piper. We understand the beliefs as she understands them, we know her terror and concern about being separated from her family, and we feel just as she does when the kidnapping blow is delivered to her. Piper isn't the most likable character, her childhood upbringing and her family's manipulative beliefs have shaped her and she lacks the childlike, scared quality we expect of a kidnap victim. She instead plans, provokes, or dissociates, bringing a fierceness to her that felt realistic to me. She is a steadfast believer in her father, it is only through time that Piper begins to face the real truth. Jeannine, the woman who has taken her in for the Government as Piper believes, is really her mother and the interactions she has with Piper are so powerful. It is an incredible testament of the love and devotion a mother has for a child.
Megan Cooley Peterson does an incredible job of telling the harrowing story of Piper as she transitions into a life post-cult. The conditioning, the adjustment to life outside the community, and the frightening moments of Piper grappling with what is real and what is not, all bring a touch of realism to this emotional story. A tad on the predictable side, at least for this cult-book fan, The Liar's Daughter is a suspenseful and fascinating young adult read.
THE DETAILS●●● ● REALISTIC FICTION ● TWO TIMELINES --SAME POV (BEFORE & AFTER) ● A RAW, ENTRANCING LOOK AT LIFE IN A CULT ● BEFORE: FROM THE BRAINWASHING TO THE ABUSE ● AFTER: ADJUSTING TO NORMAL LIFE ● LENGTH OF AUDIO - 7 HOURS, 7 MINUTES ● I LISTENED ON LIBBY THROUGH MY LIBRARY
You can tell that this book is well researched...it felt so realistic. An absolute triumph of a story. At the end of the book, there is an afterward where the author explains why she wrote this story and how she once lived in a cult-like community herself...maybe not exactly like the one depicted in this book...but I believe it was a basis for her story...and it shows.
This book is a short quick read/listen that never gets bogged down with too many details...I flew through it and I was finished before I knew it. I dug the setting of an abandoned theme park for the community...so very urbex. The narration really pulled this story together for me...Melissa Moran was wonderful. She really channeled that cult feeling and nailed the voice of Piper.
Este é um daqueles livros que teria comprado só pela capa, achei muito apelativa e perturbadora.
Logo desde o início do livro se constata que Piper, a personagem principal, idolatra de forma pouco saudável o pai e a mãe. Vive fechada numa comunidade religiosa que apregoa o fim do mundo e tem pânico da má influência do exterior. Mas é no interior da seita que os castigos e as privações têm lugar e as lavagens cerebrais, que começam logo na infância, são constantes e reiteradas.
Gostei muito da forma como a narrativa se desenrola até ao final em dois momentos distintos intercalados, o antes e o depois do culto. Mas está longe de se poder considerar um thriller, tal como está classificado, mesmo para jovens adultos.
A escrita é muito simples, as frases bem curtas e os capítulos pequenos. Não há, para além do que é óbvio na experiência narrada, um aprofundamento das temáticas abordadas (a depressão, o choque de realidades e o impacto que tem na formação da personalidade, a passagem de um sistema de crenças para outro, …). Senti falta de uma análise mais detalhada das questões éticas e morais que se levantam ao longo de toda a obra.
Não deixa de ser uma narrativa interessante e chocante, baseada na experiência de vida da própria autora. Os abusos constantes sofridos no seio desta seita extremista, em que o castigo, o medo e as lavagens ao cérebro são as principais ferramentas para ensinar os mais novos.
Apesar de ter sido uma boa leitura, achei-a um pouco superficial, estava à espera que fosse mais intensa, que levantasse e trabalhasse determinadas temáticas mais sensíveis, aprofundando e confrontando sentimentos contraditórios, o antes e o depois, questões do foro psicológico e do desenvolvimento. A narrativa pouco mais se limita ao relato de uma estória.
Tendo gostado, não me senti particularmente entusiasmada como no início da leitura.
After the government swoops in and steals Piper from her family, a cult led by her charismatic and hypocritical father, she fights all that the “others” are now trying to teach her, determined to prove her loyalty to the man who has shaped all of her beliefs.
I think the author did a great job examining the effects of brainwashing through this story. While the surface story IS that Piper grew up in a cult, there is so much more to it than that. It’s a novel about figuring out who you are after having someone else decide that for you for so long. It’s a story that questions how much allegiance is owed to your family and how family is ultimately defined.
The book jacket synopsis definitely suggests a twistier tale than the one I received but this is a terrific book, nonetheless. In fact, after several chapters, I realized I did not want any big thrills from this, as that would have broken my heart. I was satisfied with the way things progressed.
I did feel that some of the interactions, particularly the teen interactions, felt inauthentic. I also wanted a little more punch from the story, as this was such a powerful topic to explore. In the grand scheme of things, these are minor complaints, as the book is really well-done and difficult to put down.
I’m sad that this story hasn’t received significant attention and hope that more readers will give it a chance. The target audience may be young adult but I, in my ripened old age, 😂 enjoyed it immensely.
I really enjoyed this book. It was unlike anything I’ve read before and felt like a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to grow up in a cult (since the author experienced a similar situation in their youth). The dual timelines kept me interested as the questions arose and were answered, the puzzle forming piece by piece. Not sure if the ending was meant to be a twist, but either way I saw it coming which would be disappointing if the intention was to surprise.
This one has me a bit torn. THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER is well-written and well-researched, and the only indication that this is YA fiction is the chapter font and the age of the protagonist. I’d guess it’s a highly accurate depiction of the deprogramming and adjustment that takes place after leaving a cult, but the most dominant emotion I felt while reading this book was frustration.
The chapters alternate between “Before” and “After.” The former covers Piper’s life leading up to her extraction from the isolated doomsday cult she calls home, and the latter picks up roughly 1-2 weeks after her relocation. As an armchair psychologist and frequent listener of cult-themed podcasts, I read the premise and jumped. But after finishing this book, I’m left contending with the fact that maybe I’m not as empathetic as I thought, and that I probably have too little patience to ever be a good foster parent.
I found Piper insufferable. I understand that this is largely intentional, and the goal is to show the reader A) the uglier parts of PTSD and the recovery process, and B) the kind of thinking and rationalizations that can result from years of brainwashing. I still hated her. In the “before” chapters, she is the walking embodiment of a bootlicking, mindless drone. Everyone around her—including her younger sister, raised in the exact same environment— has some kernel of doubt or resentment or curiosity about the world at large. Not Piper! She unquestioningly follows orders without engaging a single part of her brain responsible for critical thinking! She considers ratting out her honorary brothers for confiding in her and “speaking ill” of Father. She watches her siblings face various abuses and breezily justifies it. She is the human equivalent of a goldfish: blissfully unaware of anything around her, happily swimming laps around her plastic castle, absolutely convinced she’s in the ocean even though she can clearly see through the tank that she’s in a dentist’s office. I’m not exaggerating when I say I cannot fathom living like this. As a young and not-so-young child who had “authority issues” and an unrelenting curiosity about everything, I cannot wrap my brain around this character. While Piper is busy kissing ass and making excuses for the horrible adults around her, I see myself in Carla: moodily drawing in the corner, grumbling “this is so stupid” when woken up at 2am for a random middle-of-the-night drill meant to test agility or obedience or something.
And then of course there’s “After” Piper, who is a waking nightmare. This is where I prayed repeatedly that I don’t have a child like this someday, because I would. Lose. My. Mind.
The book wraps up in a satisfying and realistic way, and it left me feeling better about Piper in the aggregate. But God, was it painful getting there. Peterson writes in her Author’s Note that this book was inspired by her own early experience in a cult-like church, which explains the air of authenticity about Piper’s inner monologue. But she also goes on to write about her emerging doubts about the church, which caused her to leave by the end of junior high— so where the hell did Piper come from? Is this an extended musing on how Peterson might have seen the world if she’d been cut off from the rest of society? Or is it a 300-page thought exercise in how the most fanatical child members of her old church must have felt?
Either way, I would have far preferred to see a Piper who had a mind of her own, one who wasn’t a one-dimensional sheep with a single redeeming quality (her love for her little siblings). Better yet, pull a Midnight Sun and re-write the whole thing from Cas’ perspective.
4,5✨ A Filha do Mentiroso foi uma leitura que me prendeu de uma forma completamente inesperada. Adorei a escrita simples, os capítulos curtos, as personagens e o ambiente obscuro e misterioso no qual toda a história se apoiou. Um autêntico page-turner.
A história desenrola-se em dois momentos temporais. Sem adiantar muito, acompanhamos a vivência dentro do culto no qual Pipper, a personagem principal, se insere, bem como a forma através do qual este permite aos seus residentes ver o mundo. Por outro lado, temos acesso ao pós culto e a tudo o que está inerente a esse momento. Desde confrontações com o real e o irreal, ao desenvolvimento de problemáticas do foro psicológico, Pipper vê-se numa luta interior e de procura pelo seu verdadeiro “eu”. Pessoalmente, considero que este jogo temporal foi bem conseguido, ainda que tenha sentido falta de um maior aprofundamento na história de um modo geral.
Ainda assim, esta é uma obra escrita com base na experiência pessoal da autora, pelo que é um aspeto que não pode deixar de ser tido em conta.
Este livro permitiu-me pensar, mais uma vez, na diversidade cultural existente e no quão pouco sei sobre determinados assuntos. É um livro assustador devido à confrontação entre aquilo que é a realidade nele retratada e a minha realidade. Só por isto foi uma leitura que já valeu muito a pena.
It’s been a while since I finished a book in one sitting. My concentration span is usually extremely short but this book held it and held it well. Great concept that was well written - although a few plot questions were left unanswered (for me). Overall would recommend!
“The Community is truth. The Community is loyalty. The Community will keep you safe.”
This book contains: initiations, strawberries, appointments, pizza, pink caps, swimming lessons, small bathroom windows, hunger, brainwashing, lies and the chosen one.
For a mystery, it was a pleasant surprise! I only read another book about cults before, and I definitely prefer this one. I flew through this book because I was hooked from the first chapter! It follows a seventeen year old girl named Piper, who was raised in a cult, and the chapters switch between the Before and After she was rescued. We get to see how the cult operates and the all the child abuse, but it's not descriptive to the point that will make you feel uncomfortable. I liked Piper as a main character but it was frustrating to see her resist so much when she was out of the compound. I understand why she was behaving like that, but it was still frustrating as a reader to experience that. The writing is very simple and easy to follow, and it is fast-paced. It also helps that the book is composed of small chapters - you will fly through it! One thing you should know about this book is that it’s not a book with surprises. What I mean by this is that you discover new things as the story goes, but it’s not in a way that shocks you. So if you like that element of surprise, please know that you will not get it with this book. I really liked this book and I would love to read more from this author. It was an entertaining, fast-paced book… but I wouldn’t consider it a thriller, only a mystery book. If you're interested in books about cults, this is an interesting one to check out.
"Li este livro em 24h. É uma história super interessante, ainda para mais sendo ela baseada na experiência da autora. Gostei muito como a história se desenrola em duas linhas temporais, o antes e depois, tornando a leitura viciante. A escrita direta, simples e os capítulos pequeninos também ajudaram 👌🏻 Foi muito assustador perceber como estas crianças têm a sua visão sobre o mundo completamente formatada. Ou seja, quando são retirados do culto levam tamanho choque de realidade que ficam completamente abalados a nível psicológico. O mais pertubardor é pensar que existem efetivamente cultos com ideias descabidas e que têm imensos seguidores. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Não consigo perceber como este livro está classificado como thriller porque não o é. Não consegui dar 5⭐ porque acho que o final ficou aquém do esperado... foi tudo muito rápido. E mesmo ao longo da narrativa acho que lhe falta intensidade, e algum desenvolvimento nas temáticas mais sensíveis, como a saúde mental."
Reading the blurb of this book piqued my interest since I have always had an interest in cults and how people get brainwashed and sucked into that lifestyle.
This book is told in before cult and after cult point of views which I really enjoyed. My heart broke for Piper because she was pretty much ripped from the only family and lifestyle she has known and is now being told her whole life was a lie. I don’t blame her for lashing out throughout this story at all. I did feel sorry for her mother and I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes either. You never give up hope, finally get your daughter back and she treats you like the sworn enemy. Whew.
This was my first time reading this author and I really enjoyed this book. I really connected to the characters and my heart ached for them as I read. The story was well written, evenly paced and had my emotions all over the place. Make sure to read the author’s note as well.
Pipper tem 17 anos e vive numa espécie de bolha. É filha de um profeta, vive numa seita, e tudo do mundo exterior é o inimigo. Isso é o antes. No depois Pipper vive com uma família modelo, mas que julga ser os maus da fita.
Este livro não se lê, devora-se. Até porque queremos saber como é que foi a história de Pipper até ali e dos seus irmãos. Apesar de ter imaginado o desfecho da história tal como se desenrolou não me senti defraudada nem desmotivada para continuar.
Livro muito bem escrito e com uma história assustadora que pode muito bem ser a história de muitos jovens pertencentes a estas seitas. A autora foi uma das que sofreu na própria pele do que isso é.
If I'm perfectly honest, I kind of picked this up on a whim, because it was available on Audible Stories and I had never read a book about this subject matter. It felt well researched with regards to some of the emotional trauma and as a result the storytelling felt really raw. The audio narrator also did a great job of expressing all of the emotions and I really enjoyed listening to this. 4🌟
3.5 This was really interesting. I do wish we got to see more of the cult and interactions, but I thought how this was told was good because you wanted to know what happened and why and how. I liked the characters and the growth they had to go through. I do have to say the start of this was a lot stronger than the middle and end, but still a good read.
(Deleted my review accidentally - I'm so annoyed. Doh!) 3.5 stars, rounded down
I'm sort of fascinated by cults but... isn't everyone on some level? There's something about taking things to the extreme... Cults can be horrific but there's something strangely fascinating about the idea of blind faith that you can't look away - almost like a train crash!
This book was an interesting read - made more interesting when I found out that Megan Cooley Peterson and her family had actually been in a cult as a child, and decided to leave in her teens. Her parents, fortunately, allowed her to do so and actually followed suit a few years later, so it isn't autobiographical but it certainly lends a weight to the story telling. Of course, it was also brave of her to share this experience with her readers (in a note at the end), and gave the book a certain gravitas.
The story is told over two timelines 'before' and 'after' seventeen-year-old Piper is 'rescued' from the cult. She doesn't see it as rescuing at all; she believes she was kidnapped and her parents unfairly imprisoned. She knows her father is the Chosen One, a Prophet protecting people from mobile phone radiation, additives in food, and other ways the government are trying to control everyone. She knows she is safe in the compound and, although life isn't ideal and she and the other children are sometimes hungry, she doesn't want to be anywhere else. In the 'after' sections, Piper knows she is being poisoned by the drugs they try to give her, and is desperate to escape home to her family.
This is a very quick/easy listen as it's difficult to put down! Although, in a way, there isn't a lot of 'active' action, Peterson leaves the reader wanting to know more. The realism is spectacular - which is explained by the author's experiences. There were also some really cool touches, like the setting being an abandoned theme park - I just thought that worked so well! Piper's voice felt very true and believable, although perhaps A good read for sure!