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"The Book of Essie" : a new novel about a fundie reality show family


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10 minutes ago, Coy Koi said:

It could be that she was shooting for fundie but got it wrong, but I feel like it's more likely that she was shooting for evangelical-but-not-fundie and got it closer to right. Her father was a preacher and I assume she was basing it on what she experienced.

What seemed weird to me though is how everyone in the entire town was apparently a member of Essie's dad's church. Are there really towns where everyone belongs to the same megachurch?

You might be right, although the anti-abortion stance of the parents and their homophobia leans towards fundie-ism (is that a word?). I know Evangelicals can be that way too, though. 

I haven't lived anyplace where everybody goes to the same church...but I've heard stories about Moscow, Idaho (Doug Wilson's stomping grounds). I suppose it's possible. 

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19 minutes ago, Coy Koi said:

What seemed weird to me though is how everyone in the entire town was apparently a member of Essie's dad's church. Are there really towns where everyone belongs to the same megachurch?

I spent too much time while reading this book trying to figure out exactly what kind of town this was supposed to take place in. For all the talk about it being a backwater small town, a weird number of the characters had connections to elite colleges.

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18 minutes ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

I spent too much time while reading this book trying to figure out exactly what kind of town this was supposed to take place in. For all the talk about it being a backwater small town, a weird number of the characters had connections to elite colleges.

The author went to Princeton and became a physician. I may be reading too much into the book, but I get the feeling that she's a bit removed from life as experienced by the less-privileged. 

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 I think she was picking and choosing from lots of things to make plot points work.

For instance, too many children would have been too many characters. As is, we barely saw 3 brothers. But she did throw a in a fantastic triplet baby death to up the count. (I was amused by that.)

I think homeschooling also would have complicated the narrative. High school allowed mored worldly exposure, people for Essie to know, etc.

I wonder if the author read here at all. It would be fun to do a qa with her.

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3 minutes ago, AliceInFundyland said:

a fantastic triplet baby death 

Yes, it's a bit much, don't you think? And it was thrown in there so clinically, drawing me out of the story and making me remember that the author worked NICU.

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On 6/27/2018 at 8:17 AM, Coy Koi said:

I didn't grow up fundie so I couldn't comment from personal experience. Essie's family didn't really seem to be fundie though, just Evangelical. Don't you think? There's a ton of overlap, but they didn't seem to be fundie to me. As horrible as her upbringing was, on the surface at least, it was way better than that of many fundie kids.

Hmm. I don't know. The line between fundie and evangelical is pretty blurry. If you believe that women's role is wife and mother and man's is protector provider, you're limiting your daughter's life choices in a fundie way. I don't think you have to wear skirts and be homeschooled to be fundie. 

That's obviously my perspective alone. I grew up just this side of fundie and it was hella damaging. 

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On 6/27/2018 at 7:33 PM, Lisafer said:

I haven't lived anyplace where everybody goes to the same church...but I've heard stories about Moscow, Idaho (Doug Wilson's stomping grounds). I suppose it's possible. 

(my bold)

I haven't been to Moscow in years, but Google seems to disagree with what you've heard about Moscow, if you've heard that it only has a single church. (Search results under spoiler.)

Spoiler

I searched "Protestant Churches in Moscow, Idaho" to limit it a bit and exclude LDS churches, and got 18 results.

#1-3

Screenshot_20180703-053856.thumb.jpg.85ea755ea14afdff24020c5d626b49e2.jpg

#3-6 (#6 is Christ Church, Doug Wilson's church)Screenshot_20180703-053910.thumb.jpg.6a99e009df5b79389dfac1f16a65e043.jpg

#6-9 (Christ Church again)

Screenshot_20180703-053923.thumb.jpg.952f9b43168b2b2b8e3be1e0bacf2ae8.jpg

#9-12

Screenshot_20180703-053934.thumb.jpg.cfb4d4afe59f3c0584cabe2aa1386450.jpg

#12-15

Screenshot_20180703-053946.thumb.jpg.e025b5fd779fdb27e283300d0a46d4a1.jpg

#15-18 (or #15-17 if you ignore St. Mary's Catholic Church) 

Screenshot_20180703-053957.thumb.jpg.b399c88af603a3dbd9c2720ab659f0fa.jpg

Now, Google put in one Catholic Church (when I searched "Protestant Churches"?!) and Doug Wilson's church (Christ Church), so 16 results roughly. Around 16 churches for 25,000 people. (Probably more if you include students when the university is full.) When I did a broader search, it added a Universalist Unitarian church, 2 Catholic churches, 4 LDS churches, a Friends Meeting (aka Quakers), a Baha'i group, and 5 or 6 other churches that didn't show up in the "Protestant" search.

I have no idea how large any of these churches or groups are, but it doesn't look like Doug Wilson has a monopoly in the town. (I did like that Christ Church only has a 3 star rating. :pb_wink: )

I hate the fact that Doug is there at all, and I guess that might make me a little touchy on the subject. I'm not trying to pick on you, @Lisafer, just point out that a college town with a reputation for having a rowdy fraternity/sorority culture and so many religious options doesn't seem to me like a place where "everybody goes to the same church".

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At first I was annoyed by the very simplistic writing style, but once The Google told me it was a YA book I read it through a difference lens.  I actually really liked it.  And I think in the end it was more about being a young person forced to live life as a public person rather than being specifically about religious fundamentalism.  I really didn't think the religious stuff played into it that much, other than giving us the plot device for why the pregnancy was such a big deal.

The triplet death seemed like a direct Duggar slam to me so I was greatly amused by it.

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9 hours ago, Frumper said:

At first I was annoyed by the very simplistic writing style, but once The Google told me it was a YA book I read it through a difference lens.  I actually really liked it.  And I think in the end it was more about being a young person forced to live life as a public person rather than being specifically about religious fundamentalism.  I really didn't think the religious stuff played into it that much, other than giving us the plot device for why the pregnancy was such a big deal.

The triplet death seemed like a direct Duggar slam to me so I was greatly amused by it.

Just finished, and I agree completely. I also didn’t know till I was done that the author was a physician, and that explains a lot too—this is a hobby for her. Not saying people can’t be good at two things, but it would be a rare person who is a successful doctor as well as a great fiction author (in my opinion.) I thought a lot of the book was too obviously spelled out, in the sense that she built a ‘mysterious’ plot and gave vague clues and flashbacks, then later ‘revealed’ what  happened...except I guessed what happened from the vague clues 3 chapters ago. 

I also can’t get behind the name Rourke. It annoyed me for the whole book. 

That being said...it only took me two days to read it. Definitely entertaining. 

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On 7/3/2018 at 7:17 AM, WhatWouldJohnCrichtonDo? said:

I haven't been to Moscow in years, but Google seems to disagree with what you've heard about Moscow, if you've heard that it only has a single church. (Search results under spoiler.)

  Reveal hidden contents

I searched "Protestant Churches in Moscow, Idaho" to limit it a bit and exclude LDS churches, and got 18 results.

#1-3

Screenshot_20180703-053856.thumb.jpg.85ea755ea14afdff24020c5d626b49e2.jpg

#3-6 (#6 is Christ Church, Doug Wilson's church)Screenshot_20180703-053910.thumb.jpg.6a99e009df5b79389dfac1f16a65e043.jpg

#6-9 (Christ Church again)

Screenshot_20180703-053923.thumb.jpg.952f9b43168b2b2b8e3be1e0bacf2ae8.jpg

#9-12

Screenshot_20180703-053934.thumb.jpg.cfb4d4afe59f3c0584cabe2aa1386450.jpg

#12-15

Screenshot_20180703-053946.thumb.jpg.e025b5fd779fdb27e283300d0a46d4a1.jpg

#15-18 (or #15-17 if you ignore St. Mary's Catholic Church) 

Screenshot_20180703-053957.thumb.jpg.b399c88af603a3dbd9c2720ab659f0fa.jpg

Now, Google put in one Catholic Church (when I searched "Protestant Churches"?!) and Doug Wilson's church (Christ Church), so 16 results roughly. Around 16 churches for 25,000 people. (Probably more if you include students when the university is full.) When I did a broader search, it added a Universalist Unitarian church, 2 Catholic churches, 4 LDS churches, a Friends Meeting (aka Quakers), a Baha'i group, and 5 or 6 other churches that didn't show up in the "Protestant" search.

I have no idea how large any of these churches or groups are, but it doesn't look like Doug Wilson has a monopoly in the town. (I did like that Christ Church only has a 3 star rating. :pb_wink: )

I hate the fact that Doug is there at all, and I guess that might make me a little touchy on the subject. I'm not trying to pick on you, @Lisafer, just point out that a college town with a reputation for having a rowdy fraternity/sorority culture and so many religious options doesn't seem to me like a place where "everybody goes to the same church".

I understand. That wasn't what I meant, exactly. I've read (I think it was on the Wartburg Watch and other blogs) that Doug Wilson's church has a lot of influence and control over people and businesses in the area. I don't know if that's accurate. My fault for not elaborating on what I meant!

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On 7/3/2018 at 9:58 PM, AnnEggBlandHer? said:

 I also can’t get behind the name Rourke. It annoyed me for the whole book. 

I kept wanting to read it as Row-ark, the way Matthew McConaughey’s character pronounces Sandra Bullock’s character’s name in A Time to Kill. 

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