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In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family
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In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  22 reviews
The author recounts her fourteen years of abuse at the hands of her husband, the drug-addicted eldest son of Sun Myung Moon, and reveals the corruption behind Moon's organization. ...more
Hardcover, 236 pages
Published September 2nd 1998 by Little Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  158 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Mar 31, 2009 rated it liked it
In the Shadow of the Moons: My Life in the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Family is a fascinating read told by Nansook Hong, the 15 year old South Korean girl that Reverend Moon chose to marry his oldest son, Hyo Jin. Interesting insider look at the "Moonies" (Unification Church) and its leaders. Nansook describes the excesses, the abuse, and the outright hypocricy of life in the Moon family.

Nansook Hong's parents were some of the original members of Moon's church, so she was born into this world, k
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a great, quick read, though not the best memoir written. It is the true story of Nansook Hong, a woman who was born into the Unification church. She was 'summoned' by Sun Myung Moon to marry his wayward son, at the tender age of 15. Hong describes her life during those miserable 14 years as imprisonment; her only comfort being her five children that she bore all before the age of 29. It is an insightful look into the 'Moonie' cult, much of which is quite disturbing to read; domestic vio ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Forever grateful to Hong for sharing her story - she's helped I and a lot of other people leave this group. ...more
Nathan Hurst
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Haunting and well-paced, among the best cult memoirs I've read. ...more
Michael Hentrich
May 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
This was my first time reading an entire book that completely criticized the beliefs of my own religion. In the Shadow of the Moons is written by Nan Sook Hong, former wife of Hyo Jin Moon, the eldest son of Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

Growing up, I’d always heard of the many criticisms people had about Unificationism. However, besides some critical blogs on the internet, this book seems to be the best way to dig up lots of dirt on the Unification Church. At this time in my life, I decided to take a lo
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
While a little slow at the start -- covering the history of the church and some background on Rev Moon -- the book eventually picks up. Once it gets moving, it dishes insider information like nobody's business. I'm a bit of a cult fiend, looking for understanding of the phenomena, and this book delivers.

The author, Nansook Hong, was forced to married the eldest Moon son when she was 15 years old. Because of this, she had access to all the big players in the Unification Church, and provides insig
Rachel Kolodziej
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. The story of a woman raised in a cult and married off to one of it's abusive elite. The things he did to her were vile and her escape is satisfying. The Moons cult is strange and its hard to believe that anyone would get involved with them. But Father Moon found the right combination of Christianity and superstition and sold it to a people who were hungry for something more. If you enjoy reading about cults or survivors of abuse, check out this book. It's a fa ...more
Rebecca Scaglione
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m on a cult book roll and it’s honestly so shocking how similar all the cults are... for instance...
Leaders do whatever they want but followers have insanely specific rules to follow... check
Leaders isolate followers... check
If you leave, something terrible will happen to you and your family... check
Abuse in the form of physical and sexual... check
Financial fraud or weirdness... check

I can’t understand getting sucked in initially but boy, have these leaders figured out how to terrorize and
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like the author of this book, I grew up in this church. I haven't been actively involved in about a decade, and am still trying to make sense of my relation with it. This book seemed like an important one to read in terms of expanding my perspective.

Spoilers ahead.

Somehow I found myself being able to relate to what Nansook went through with the kinds of people who act one way in public while being something else in private. Many of us are familiar with those types of people to some degree or ano
Jeremiah Johnson
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Equally heartbreaking and inspiring. Nansook’s accounts of the abuse she faced at the hands of the Unification Church, namely by her husband, can be hard to read but the accounts are necessary to get a full picture of the damage that can be caused by organizations like this. In a world full of exploitative true crime media, memoirs like this offer a much more human view, including the very important rationale that keeps people prisoners not just to cults but to abusive relationships in general.
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, ownvoices
Between 3 and 4 stars, but I read books about women escaping megalomaniac cults and I want to give them 10 stars for getting the f--- out of an abusive prison of mind, body and soul. Anyway, this story by Nansook Hong was pretty well written and satisfyingly reflective. How did I not know that the Washington Times was owned by the Moonies? And their compound is in Tarrytown? Ah, anyway, this concludes my assigned research on cults which I'm happy about. ...more
Jan 11, 2010 rated it liked it
And who doesn't love a good how-I-escaped-the-cult book? She's no writer, but still I couldn't put it down. I am perverse. Ever heard of the Moonies? I hadn't. Their leader is a Korean guy who claims to be the new Messiah. According to him, Jesus didn't quite get the job finished, so he had to step in. He's incredibly wealthy and scarily influential with people like the former prez George Bush and Barb speaking at his functions and groups like the ACLU lobbying for his religious freedom in the U ...more
Alex Lee
Jun 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, bio
We can't know what did or did not happen. It's a book reflecting back to one's coming awareness of what is right or wrong which comes with it an awareness of the value of one's self and of other selves. Regardless of how we feel about the truthhood of this book, there is a hard core in the belief in liberty. That one should be able to live ones life in a way that makes sense to one's self. This could be a criticism of the religion or of the culture (or both). Still, it's not easy not being moved ...more
Kitty Red-Eye
A terrible story about abuse and how out of hand people can get if they're above critisism. It was just about what I expected to hear, not a memorable book, but not badly written or anything either. I wanted to see if there was anything in it about living inside an environment which allows no critisism at all, only blind submission is allowed, something on that which I hadn't read before in one way or another. There wasn't really. That's not the fault of the author. Reading about the abuse she's ...more
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another fascinating look into living within, and surviving to escape- with children in tow, from a religious cult in America. The prose doesn't always flow but the fascination with the content easily makes up for it. This book provides a solid peek into the psyche of a charismatic, but flawed, self-made religious leader. More importantly it traces the mentality of the poor author as she wakens to the reality of the religious lie she is living, and how, despite the generous monetary comforts, she ...more
Sep 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Having gone to a college owned by the Moon family, I learned a lot about them. I found this book to be very interesting, giving some further insight behind the closed doors of the unification church and the family that runs it.
Not as comprehensive or detailed as I would have liked. I felt large portions of time were skimmed over. Also it wasn't as well written as I would have liked. I think a ghost writer or stronger editor would have benefited this book greatly. ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
pretty good. I learned about the Unification Church (aka the moonies) but overall had the same themes as every "losing my religion" book. ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book about Rev. Moon's ex-daughter-in-law. The moonies are everything that is wrong with the republicans wraped in one crisco corn santorum sandwich. this cult is almost to much to believe. ...more
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
An interesting read about some of the inside workings of Reverend Moon's social empire. ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
I knew the family was shady, but Holy Lifetime Movie, Batman! Creepy upon Wrong upon Yuck upon Argh!
Martin  Poblete
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very disturbing account of what its like growing up within the Reverend Moons family, In Yet so many worship him as a Messiah, I really don't get it ...more
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Sep 07, 2009
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Jan 26, 2021
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