Bethany's Reviews > The Burn Zone: A Memoir

The Burn Zone by Renee Linnell
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In this fascinating memoir about being drawn into a cult, Renee Linnell offers a raw, captivating portrait of the years she spent in being brainwashed and her eventual healing from the experience. The Burn Zone is compulsively readable.

The author (with the help of therapy) shows herself to be quite self-aware as she links her childhood with an unbalanced, alcoholic mother to the the decisions she makes later on. She describes her first experience with Lakshmi, the woman who would become her Spiritual Teacher in this Buddhist-adjacent cult, as life-altering. Step by step she reveals how these groups slowly convince members to cut themselves off from the outside world and conform to impossible standards. In her case, the author provided years of full-time, unpaid labor, eventually became involved in an emotionally-abusive sexual relationship, and denied all the things that made her who she was.

Reading her account is incredibly compelling, and the forgiveness that she eventually comes to (for herself and for those who hurt her) is breathtaking. Having little familiarity with Eastern Religion, a lot of the spiritual practices were strange to me, but it becomes clear how and why the author bought into everything. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone curious about this world. I was sent a complimentary copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.
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Reading Progress

January 8, 2019 – Started Reading
January 8, 2019 – Shelved
January 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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