Kirsten's Reviews > I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing

I'm Perfect, You're Doomed by Kyria Abrahams
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Jul 29, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: from-library, memoir, non-fiction
Read in July, 2009

Sometimes memoirs are dangerous things, especially memoirs that are going for a more "wacky" angle about the author's bizarre and/or horrifying childhood. This is a good one, though; Abrahams treats her childhood self sympathetically, but also can't help but point out both the absurdity of her situation and the insane way she handled it.

As the title indicates, Kyria Abrahams grew up Jehovah's Witness, and the first part of her memoir is a fascinating child's eye view of what this entails and how real people navigate the often-ridiculous strictures of the faith. As she gets older, Kyria begins to rebel against her faith, but not before dropping out of school, entering into an ill-advised marriage, and discovering the wonders of alcoholism and suicidal ideation. Oddly, it's not really a depressing read, and you find yourself rooting for the young Kyria, almost in spite of yourself -- she's so screwed up, and makes so many stupid mistakes, but at the same time... Well, as she puts it, when you grow up in a faith that regards murder and smoking as equally bad because all sins are equal in the eyes of Jehovah, it tends to really throw off your sense of the world.

The only thing I sort of wished for was more resolution, even though it is probably artistically more interesting to end where she did. The memoir ends with Kyria just barely finding her feet after burning all of her bridges, and I found myself wanting to call her and check up: "Are you really ok now? Do you talk to your parents? How's that drinking problem?" But maybe that's material for a sequel.
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06/18/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen Okay, this looks like a winner. Can you toss me a review so I can be sure?


Kirsten Your wish is my command. :)


message 3: by Jen (last edited Jul 30, 2009 09:11AM) (new)

Jen Many thanks, friend to me and shoulder climbing rodents


TheSaint You might enjoy My Life in Orange by Guest. It was particularly poignant due to the proximity of the Rajneesh presence here in Oregon back in the day, but still, a good look into the life of religious extremism.


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