Adopted as a baby and raised by a devout Jehovah’s Witness family, Joy Castro is constantly reminded to tell the truth no matter what the consequences. Nevertheless, Castro finds this tenet to be the most violated. Here, in her very own Truth Book, Castro bears witness to a childhood lost but a life regained.
Castro’s parents divorce after her father is excommunicated for smoking. She is twelve when her mother marries a “brother” in the church who, though exhibiting an impeccable public persona, is violent and controlling at home. For two years, Joy does not grow at all; in fact, she loses sixteen pounds in response to the physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse she suffers at his hands. Her battered mother does nothing to protect her, nor does her church. She is sustained by humor, books, and her protective love for her younger brother until their daring escape. This courageous personal account looks freshly at the disturbing effects of religious hypocrisy and the resilience of the human spirit.
Joy Castro is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the Department of English and the Institute for Ethnic Studies. She is the author of Island of Bones
(Nebraska, 2012) and the novel Hell or High Water
, a National Latino Book Club selection. Dorothy Allison is an award-winning poet, novelist, and essayist, and the author of Bastard out of Carolina
"[Castro's] story is, more than merely engaging, downright embracing. The unfolding fates of Castro and her brother as they endure abuse at the hands of those entrusted with their care, even though we know they emerged whole and sane, prove utterly gripping."--Booklist