Caroline ’s review of Jesus Land: A Memoir > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Tesla (new)

Tesla That program in the Dominican Republic is NOT abusive. I was there, so trust me, I know. The staff there are wonderful and amazing and they love their students and truly want to help them. Her accounts of the program are NOT accurate AT ALL! She just wanted to find a way to get attention

message 2: by Caroline (last edited Oct 18, 2013 01:24PM) (new)

Caroline Hi, Tesla. I'm glad to hear the program wasn't abusive while you were there and that you liked it. Obviously, anyone who was not a part of the program can only judge it based on what they hear from others who were.

Regardless of whether Scheeres exaggerated or even flat-out lied about her experience at Escuela Caribe (and I sincerely hope she did not, that she only just had a different experience from you, due to different staff members putting into practice a radically different philosophy), I still believe this book has value. Although it seems clear Scheeres was (possibly still is) bitterly angry over her experience at the reform school, her point in writing Jesus Land was to show the depth and uniqueness of her bond with her adopted "twin" brother. I personally think she succeeded very well in that regard and that this book is quite moving and one not easily forgotten.

As I said in my review, because I noticed a change in Scheeres's tone from the first half to the second (in other words, when it seemed her book began to veer into nothing more than ranting-about-reform-school territory), I docked a star from my personal rating. I saw that change in tone (and possibly a negative focus on Escuela Caribe that was excessive) as a flaw. I think memoir-writing especially has to be very carefully balanced, and I think here Scheeres lost some of her balance.

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