The Word

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Lisa’s father kidnapped her to keep her in a cult at age seven. Nine years later, she has the chance to live a new life—but is she ready to leave the cult behind?

After her parents’ divorce, seven-year-old Lisa’s father convinces her to leave home in the middle of the night. After all, according to their radical religious beliefs, she belongs to him, and it is her duty to obey him. Ever the dutiful daughter—at least outwardly—and confused by the sinful changes in her mother, Lisa complies.

For the next nine years, Lisa and her father go from place to place—hiding out in a rural town populated by the cult, living on the streets, and preaching the Word. She is taught that her mother, who divorced her father and left the cult, is deemed “dead” by the Word’s doctrine—a shell without a soul. The only school she’s allowed to attend is one run by one of the cult’s community leaders. They forbid reading books or watching television. She has to be small, quiet, and modest.

When the police finally catch up with them, Lisa returns to her mom’s home in Oregon—a home with freedoms that Lisa has never really known. But her father has a plan to take back what’s his—a plan that was set in motion the moment the police arrived at his home. Now Lisa must make a decision: follow the plan and go home with the hope that she’ll see her father again, or risk everything to figure out what life could be when she makes her own choices.

Additional information

Author

Mary G. Thompson

Publication Date

May 21, 2024

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