Cover Image: Chasing Eden A Memoir

Chasing Eden A Memoir

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Member Reviews

Cherilyn has written a raw revealing memoir of her childhood .Growing up in a fundamentalist family living an off the grid life style.She suffers abuse at the hands of her father .Yet she and her siblings are survivors.This is an exceptional memoir one I will not soon forget.#netgalley#booksgosocial
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It's easy for a memoir to feel self-inflated and trudge along, but this was far from the case with Chasing Eden. Completely engrossing, we get to follow the author through memories of her childhood up until the beginnings of young adulthood, as she deals with her family's dysfunction and their increasing intentional withdrawal from society.

Clough's writing and experiences reminded me of Jeannette Walls' in The Glass Castle - both dark and unsettling in ways, but there is still love there. Overall a fascinating, captivating look at her childhood and the circumstances of religious fundamentalism. I'm looking forward to a re-read.
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Often compared to Educated and the Glass Castle, Chasing Eden is a memoir of isolation and the craving for education and freedom.

Although there are similarities, Chasing Eden is a winner all on it's own and a definite must read.
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This book captivated me from start to finish. I love the relatable feeling I got with read it. The struggle she went through to get to her dreams and vision for life, using wisdom and grace through each decision was inspiring. The true story made it even better. I always love a good, true, honest, down to earth story to read.
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Child & animal abuse abound.

This is a long, hard-hitting book which will not be for every reader. Particularly if you are in a fragile emotional or mental state - it certainly won't leave you feeling good and I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. It will however hopefully leave you feeling a sense of hope. Cheri will bring you back and remind you of that childlike innocence and curiosity and having that sense of wonder about people and the world. She will hopefully encourage you that no matter how short the straw is that you're given, to believe in dreams and to never give up.
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I'm not usually a fan of memoirs, but this story really pulled me in.  For such a stark and disturbing theme, it had some really funny parts.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.
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I really appreciated receiving a copy of this book but was unable to finish it as it was not what I was expecting, and is not the kind of thing I enjoy reading unfortunately.
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This is such a powerful story. It reminded me some of 'Educated', which was a huge top seller the past year.  It was hard to read at times, because of the abuse that Cherilyn experienced, and my heart broke for her so many times. But her strength and endurance are admirable. I was rooting for her the whole time. She does an amazing job of describing her past, and many times I felt like I was right there with her. The end of the book mentions that she is writing a sequel, which I'm looking forward to reading as well. I would love to hear the rest of her story and what she did after the events at the end of this book.
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Cherilyn dreams of being normal. She wants to go to school and make friends, but her parents are religious fanatics. They isolate the family and move constantly throughout her childhood. It's not until she's 18 that she finally finds the courage to express her opinions and break free. 
This book is heartbreaking. In every chapter, I hoped that Cherilyn's parents would decide to provide her with stability, but that never happens. I did find hope in Cherie's ability to speak the truth, though.
I recommend "Chasing Eden: A Memoir" to readers who are interested in child development, family dynamics, religious abuse, and education. It's also a powerful example of what happens when we decide to stand up for ourselves and live the normal of our dreams.
Trigger warning: This book contains emotional, physical and other abuse throughout.
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A book about finding your voice, your place, yourself.  I found it hard going in places, given the themes, but it was a worthwhile, and in places, very witty, touching book.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. 
This memoir about a young girl growing up in a fundamentalist family is hard to put down. The resilience of Cherilyn and her siblings is amazing. You can't help but cheer her on in her quest for live like "normal" families and eventually find her freedom.
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"If a girl screams in the chaos and no one hears her, does she still exist?"

Chasing Eden is a fascinating memoir about a young girl's upbringing in a fundamentalist religious and abusive family and how she found the faith and strength to not only endure but escape that environment. Clough movingly recounts growing up moving from state to state, living in countless different houses, motels, trailers, cabins and even tents.  Her childhood was consequently disrupted and she missed out on an education, forming lasting friendships and experiencing those childhood and teenage milestones so many of us take for granted. Throughout, Clough find strength in her "superpowers": her elephant memory, telling the truth and rocking.

This was an astonishingly captivating read; I found myself unable to put it down. I was struck by the bravery of the author in managing to endure such testing circumstances throughout her entire childhood and adolescence including the horrific physical and emotional abuse she was subjected to by her own family. I also hugely admire the courage it must have taken for her to reach a point where she felt ready to share her story with the world. The book was well written and was fairly easy to read, although there are numerous explicit mentions of physical and emotional abuse. Around halfway through I did start to find that it was getting a bit repetitive and wonder if it would have been possible to shave parts off, particularly as the book was fairly long. Overall, though, a gripping read which I would recommend.
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What an enjoyable memoir. I felt I was living each moment with Cherie and found myself holding my breath many times hoping that at last life may change for her. While living our comfortable middle class lives, it is easy to forget there is great poverty and hardship hiding in plain sight.

Highly recommended.
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Wow! What a powerful story. It was hard to read at times, because of the abuse that Cherilyn experienced, and my heart broke for her so many times. But her strength and endurance are admirable. I was rooting for her the whole time. She does an amazing job of describing her past, and many times I felt like I was right there with her. The end of the book mentions that she is writing a sequel, which I'm looking forward to reading as well. I would love to hear the rest of her story and what she did after the events at the end of this book.
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A sad tale of a girl forced to become isolated from society and her peers by her religious parents. Terrified of 'The Persuader", the belt her father used to beat her and her siblings, required as a five year old to look after her newborn and baby siblings, forced to toe the line and follow her family wherever they decided. Denied an education and isolated from her grandparents and anyone and anything that her parents decided wasn't appropriate. Well-written and very sad. It makes one wonder how many other children are living on the edges of society like this family. Thought provoking.
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Chasing Eden is an incredibly well written memoir that was hard to read and nearly impossible to put down. 
I have no doubt that somewhere in all this dysfunction there is a lot of love, but there were so many times throughout the story that I just felt like screaming & “persuading” the parents to do better for their children! I could feel the stress, confusion, and guilt from Cherilyn being forced to lie, and the fear of saying the wrong things. I felt the tension of “frozen statues” as if I were there hiding from Mr Roth myself. Even now after having had time to step away and process Cherilyn’s story, I can still feel this exhausting, heavy feeling of waiting and waiting and waiting, wasting so much time holding out hope for something I know will never be. 
I would love to read more about how things played out for Cherilyn and her family and how things are for them now. I’m curious to know how her family has reacted to her writing a memoir and wonder if her mom has ever shared some of her thoughts. I also wonder if Estle knew the truth about Cherilyn’s family life. 

Thank you Cherilyn Christen Clough for sharing your truth
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Emotional, witty, heart-wrenching, engaging.

The memoir's written by Cherie, primarily from her Point of View. Beautifully written, and fascinating it follows her life from a child to adult at 18 years of age. We follow her along personal challenges and family dynamics. The family is very religious choosing to live the minimalist life, concentrating on their belief around Jesus instead of their children. This forces the family into difficult financial, and living situations. In the end Cherie overcomes these challenges keeping her sense of self and independence. 

Definitely worth a read. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle e-read, this is my honest review.
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Cherilyn is desperate for a ‘normal’ life, brought up by deeply religious fundamentalist parents- she craves structure, education, friends and a proper family home. Her family has moved over thirty times in her twenty years and often to places without electricity, heat or running water. 

Chasing Eden is the heartbreaking yet poignant story of the authors childhood. It grabs you from the first page until the very last, the writing is so good you almost feel like you’re there with her. 

I really hope there is a sequel, I’m desperate to read more.
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“I’m afraid if you don’t stop obsessing over school, you’re going to become mentally ill.”

Cherilyn’s life is largely controlled by religion enforced by her parents, as a result of this we see her moving to religious neighbourhoods & communities, getting more & more extreme as time goes on. This was all so interesting to me as a girl who’s never moved & wasn’t brought up under any religion and I was quickly fascinated with all of Cherie’s living arrangements and the different environments she was put in. Particularly when they lived in an almost self-sufficient community where their school life was a work/study course. And no, that doesn’t mean real-life experience, it means child labour.

Speaking of school, Cherie only got a 6th grade education, while some of her siblings only made it to the 1st before their parents pulled them out of official school because it was too ‘worldly’. Cherie constantly pleaded her dad for home-school books only to be met with the quote above.

As for her father, well he’s a fictional morally grey character in real life. Honestly! He’s so hard to understand but I must say that my verdict definitely rules that I’m not a fan. He’s constantly in debt to people, including Cherie but he refuses to get a real job, instead insisting on fixing up old cars and then diving hours into the city to try & sell them. Although their are some genuinely touching & heart breaking moments from her father, particularly at the end! 

Throughout it all, you just have to keep reminding yourself that these are all real people and that all of this really happened.
I think this book was just fascinating. It’s so well told & shows so much character progress that it reads just like a fictional story. So, if you’re thinking of starting to explore (auto)biographies or if you’re really interested in extremer parts of religion then this is 100% worth a read.

“There’s so much we never got to say–conversations and dreams we never got to finish–all locked up inside the hope chest of my heart.”
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