Tag Archive | organization

Spotless Murder… a Book Review

Sometimes all you have time for is a quick novella. And that was what I had this past afternoon… an hour of free time between kids and the YMCA trip. So I picked up a freebie and started reading. Spotless Murder is the third book in the Sophia O’Malley Cozy Mysteru series by Natalie Woodley and Angela Arganoff. I have not read the previous two books but the beginning of the story cleared up enough that I really felt like I was not missing out on a huge plot twist or something. (This was a one day freebie on Amazon)

This book is definitely a shorter read. Your prospective is not limited to a main character as the story scoots along showing all of them equally. You do learn a bit about the three main ones – Sophia who runs a business called the Travelling Organizer where she does just that, her new employee Mattie (though you don’t learn too much about her) and a character new to the series – Paul who works for the chain that employed the ladies and sent them to Hawaii for their newest murder mystery. 

The end of the book includes some Hawaiian recipes and some travel and organization tips. The murder itself is interesting, the solution rather intriguing and the pace a nice quick trot on through. I don’t try to solve these myself so cannot speak to that, but I really enjoyed following along as the characters work with law officials to solve the case. 

Add to the mystery, the organization, the exotic setting just a touch of romance, a little nostalgia and a sweet goodbye to a love now gone and you have a novella to pick up and enjoy in a single sitting. I would totally rec commend this contemporary cozy for a quiet hour. And once my book budget goes up from, well, zero… I may just read and review the previous books! 28481637

Beyond Belief… A Second Look into Scientology…

Totally boned this one… this review has been sitting in my drafts for too long! OOPS! Well, here goes.

In a not too long ago review entry I took a look at the book Going Clear HERE. This book was a rather indepth look at not only the history of Scientology and its current status but at the history and life of its creator – L Ron Hubbard. I have to admit, not only did I find this book educational and interesting but at times humourous. Especially when the author documented many questionable remarks and accomplishments shared by Hubbard to his “church” and the world at large. It was common to read about some honour he claimed only to have it follow up with… and the US army showed that he was … not there, somewhere else, absolutely unable to do such a thing. I found Going Clear to be an amazing introduction to something I had only had prior knowledge of in connection to stars and some comment about aliens…

Now the autobiography Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill was a completely different sort of read for me. I warn you now this is a PERSONAL recount of life inside the organization that is considered under law a church starting at childhood. In the beginning you get the eyes of a child who is wanting to enjoy and please everyone. A child seeing adventure slowly moving into loneliness, confusion and coercion. Then a teenager full of questions, hormones and loneliness and finally the adult she was and then the woman she became.

I found it hard at times to remember how young Jenna was. So much occurred as she grew up and the expectations of behaviour and understanding were so out of whack with what I would consider my own children capable of that you would be shocked when the author reminded you of her age at one point or another.

As a parent the idea of following a religion or organization that demanded you leave your children behind to be raised and molded to fit a specific ideal is repugnant. Jenna and her brother were for all intents and purposes abandoned to be raised by the church… this is where I honestly had to slow down and take breaks in my reading (something I have rarely had to do with a non fiction book).

Beyond Belief allows you to see the process of indoctrination and acceptance of something that seems (to me) almost ludicrous and infantile. The author brings you along through it all… through her childhood, the lack of freedom and the lack of family… through the teenage years with confusing regulations and absolutely no soft place to land, through love and loss and romance and marriage (and a firm understanding that she had to fight for it all against belief, family and regulation) and finally to escape.

Jenna’s story is even more intriguing when you look at her maiden name – Micavige is the name of the current head of Scientology and her blood connection to the man she calls uncle. The actual level of control and manipulation due simply to who she was born as is not clear until the ending. But what is clear is that Jenna has worked hard to become what she is today… a brilliant mother, spouse and advocate.

Once you have made your way through this book please do check out her website that is run with help of other past Scientology kids… www.exscientologykids.com. There is something to be said for hearing about a community from the inside as well as the outside looking in. I think that these two books together – Going Clear and Beyond Belief are a wonderful way to get a good grasp not only on what Scientology is but on how it can keep people so enthralled.

As always I would love to hear the opinions of others on the books I have read… so do comment if you are familiar with the books or have something to share to better my understanding!15827066