Coming of Age at the End of Days by Alice LaPlante – Book Review

This was a novel that grabs you by the throat, shakes you and forces you to have not only an opinion, but a reaction. The main character is Anna, a teenager who is struggling with depression. Her family tries to help her, but as in the case with many people suffering through mental illness nothing they do for her helps.

Her suffering leaves her vulnerable to the son of the new family down the street who invites her to his church. Anna, whose feelings of depression, have already left her vulnerable to end-times beliefs, is enthralled with the teaching of this cult; not only does she follow the teachings, but she turns on her own family accusing them of being sinful. She is more than willing to give up her own free-will to follow the sermons this “church” advocates.

I must say that I found myself irritated with Anna on numerous occasions during the reading of this book. However, I never once considered putting the book down to stop reading it. I loved how LaPlante took on the psychological issues involved in these doomsday cults, and turned a light on the belief systems they teach.

This is a novel that I highly recommend for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is that these doomsday cults are very widespread and their popularity is rising; but also, how the theme of mental illness is portrayed here. This is not an easy-to-read book; but is a good book that explores many of the issues that are relevant today.

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