Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future

Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future

I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away.

Verily, verily I say unto thee, none of these highly specialized skills ever got me a job, but at least I’m all set for the end of the world. Selah.


A story of mind control, the Apocalypse, and modest attire.Elizabeth Esther grew up in love with Jesus but in fear of daily spankings (to “break her will”). Trained in her family-run church to confess sins real and imagined, she knew her parents loved her and God probably hated her. Not until she was grown and married did she find the courage to attempt the unthinkable. To leave.

In her memoir, readers will recognize questions every believer faces: When is spiritual zeal a gift, and when is it a trap? What happens when a pastor holds unchecked sway over his followers? And how can we leave behind the harm inflicted in the name of God without losing God in the process?

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Girl at the End of the World is a story of the lingering effects of spiritual abuse and the growing hope that God can still be good when His people fail.

Includes reading group discussion guide and interview with the author

Title:Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780307731876
Format Type:

    Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future Reviews

  • Daenel

    In the interest of full disclosure, I grew up Pentecostal Holiness ~ meaning that I grew up sharing some of the same beliefs as Elizabeth Esther {minus the baby spanking and communal living}...Honestl...

  • Blake Atwood

    I receive many good books in my work at FaithVillage, but I don't always have time to read the ones I'm interested in. Elizabeth Esther's Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in...

  • R. Fisher

    "Girl At the End of the World" arrived on my Kindle at 12:04am on March 18th, 2014. By 2:00pm, I had finished the entire book, and was sitting on my couch sobbing. I'm still not sure if these were tea...

  • Jill

    Memoirs about crazy religious upbringings are usually my favorite kind, and there was no shortage of crazy in Elizabeth Esther's violent, patriarchal, fundamentalist childhood, but this memoir felt mo...

  • Laura (Book Scrounger)

    I don't usually read on the Kindle, but I was introduced to this book through Elizabeth Esther's blog, so when I saw that it was on sale for $1.99 I figured it was worth saving $10 off the print versi...

  • Eleanor

    There is nothing but bravery in Elizabeth Esther's decision to write this book--spiritual abuse, and fundamentalist spiritual abuse at that, is unbelievably damaging, and coming out against it require...

  • Homeschoolmama

    At first I thought this book was going to be a snarky feminist rant, but it wasn't offensive like that at all. It was troubling to read, but worth it, as it is a very important topic I think everyone ...

  • Caren

    This was a super quick read. What struck me is how, once again, women are so often suppressed in fundamentalist religious groups. (It reminded me of Jimmy Carter's new book,"A Call to Action: Women, R...

  • Rick

    This is the second book I read this year about someone who escaped from a fundamentalist Christian cult. The author wrote about the abuse of children, behavior control, mind control, and isolation, th...

  • steph

    Holy crap this book was good. I was utterly enthralled and kept sneaking off to read for five or ten minutes at a time because I wanted to know what happened next. Elizabeth is a very strong woman and...