PRAISE FOR CHASING EDEN
Here are just a few of the reviews on Amazon:
I couldn’t put this book down. I kept shaking my head at all the things this girl endured on her way to freedom! Truly inspiring!
Cherilyn’s story affects every nook and cranny of the soul!
As someone who is obsessed with memoir, I can say this one stands with the best. Readers will see similarities to the narcissistic fathers in both Educated and The Glass Castle but this in no way makes Cherilyn’s story predictable. I was glued to my seat, fingernails dug in, going from tears of frustration and gasps of shock to being so angry that I wanted to throw my iPad across the room. However, and delightfully so, there were also enough laughs and beautiful moments to get me through the saga of neglect and abuse.
This is a book about the power of hope. While trapped in its pages, I laughed, cried, and dreamt too. I loved its genuine plot, rich descriptions, and lovable characters. It’s one of those books you feel sad about finishing. It’s definitely a fascinating book waiting to be discovered. Chasing Eden will captivate you and inspire you all the way through!
Chasing Eden is the poignant story of a young girl’s search for unconditional love and acceptance in a bewildering world full of contradictions. The author captures perfectly the voice of the young child and draws you into her life. As the story progresses, you can sense a developing strength of character as that voice matures… It is a story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring; told in such a kind and gracious manner that it stays with you long after the final page. Highly recommended!
Clough unrolls a tapestry of survival, not a rose-tinted triumph, and it is finally this fidelity to what we all experience in the mixed bag of our own family dynamics that lends Clough’s account its impact. For readers who’ve appreciated the introspection of Educated, Clough adds another voice for those listening and trying to understand the way in which extremist beliefs are lived out in family life.
Cherilyn learned how to lie, cheat, steal, and hide—to protect her family. Moving constantly to avoid paying creditors, her dreams of a stable home, school, and friends were regularly crushed. Despite continuous setbacks, this smart little girl used what she had to make meaning of her life and escape her family chaos. Reminiscent of The Glass Castle, this book is hard to put down!
Drew me into the story in a way I’ve never been drawn in before. It was like I was right there with her. What she went through as she grew up and somehow managed to stay so strong is amazing to me. What a resilient soul she is!
Spellbinding and inspiring. I couldn’t put it down. So much insight into a child’s world where she was reared in narcissism and her ultimate escape and journey to a vibrant growing relationship with God. I applaud her bravery in telling her story and bringing hope to so many who suffer in silence.
Cherilyn Clough has managed to keep a child-like simplicity and naiveté in her recounted memories of growing up that have the uncanny effect of pulling the reader right back into those tender–and often tortured–stages with her. Clough’s story has the tension and energy to motivate staying up late to repeatedly promise oneself, “I will read just one more chapter.”
As a literary scholar, I was compelled by the fine tensions and suspense Clough builds in her memoir, as well as her internal thought process. She brings a mature, introspective voice to her life story, something that is missing in other memoirs. The end is hopeful and teases the possibility of more stories to be told.
This gripping memoir speaks right to the soul as you walk in Cherie’s shoes, feel with her heart and see through her eyes as she struggles to grow up and find her niche in life.
What an entrancing book. It is so real. I can picture the houses and the holes in the walls with the wind coming through–I could feel the chill of the cold nights. I could also feel the love and warmth from her grandparents. Religious abuse is real. This book paints the picture vividly of some of the people who take the Bible literally, taking things way too far. So many juxtapositions. It makes the book so fascinating! I love her superpowers and the people who helped her along the way were real angels. I was so engrossed in the book that I couldn’t put it down.
Cherilyn’s story and it’s not for the faint-hearted. You will grind your teeth in disbelief and scream out your frustrations, but your heavy, healing heart will be seeded with Truth, Love, and Hope, lovingly provided by angelic caretakers.
Spellbound, you cheer on the teenager’s growth, eagerly watching the ending unfold. I very much look forward to the sequel and sharing Chasing Eden with friends and family!
This story is a memoir of a child trapped in a fundamentalist family, and the damage done by being kept at a distance from all that makes up life. A timely book, and profoundly important, giving voice to the wounds of many thousands raised at the edge of nowhere, who now as adults continue to feel isolated and like they don’t belong. This is a book written with so much love for parents who did harm while trying to do the right thing. As a trauma therapist, I will be recommending this book to my clients.
When you combine the writing of a gifted author and the drama of her own compelling story you know you’ve discovered a good read! Chasing Eden, A Memoir is that kind of book.
Chasing Eden, a sensitively written memoir set in the cage of religious fundamentalism captures the confusing nuances of childhood abuse. You can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste one little girl’s gradual awakening, but Clough creates space for her family members’ complexities and motivations as well. In the pages of this story, readers will discover insights for their own awakenings and be led a step further into the light of healing.
Clough’s idealistic father prized the quintessentially American value of so-called ‘rugged individualism’ and for religious reasons, he desperately aspired to “live off the grid.” Except that, inconveniently for him, he was not alone; he also had a wife and several young children to consider. His dreams came with a price. Clough’s memoir is unfailingly kind to her parents even as she struggled to make sense of what she and her siblings endured as the price of her parents’ pursuit of their mythic Eden. “Chasing Eden” is a moving memoir of a girl who blossomed into a woman when she learned to trust and value her own worth; an Eden much more worthwhile chasing.
About finding your voice and speaking your truth, despite the potentially eternal consequences of doing so. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it, particularly to readers who identify as having had an alternative or different childhood. I feel personally richer and more resilient for having read it.
Written in such a way that the reader can feel each scene as if you were right there experiencing it with the writer. My heart ached as Cherie seeks her parents’ love and is denied it time and time again unless she holds to their standard. She is held back from finding her own identity for so long. Watching her evolve in her thinking through her interactions with those outside of her tight family circle is such an inspiration. Beautiful memoir.
It is after 4:30 am and I am still awake. Why? This story just sucked me in. I became immersed in Cherie’s life, and I had to finish reading it to find out how this young girl navigated her childhood, and ultimately became this talented writer. Her writing style flows easily. She describes things so well, that I can see, hear and feel what is happening… like I was there, and experiencing everything with her.
In this hauntingly beautiful memoir, abuse and neglect are not vehicles for blame or pity. Truth is a desperate quest and an astonishingly rare commodity in the small orbit this young girl inhabited. Her struggle to break free moved me deeply. As an avid reader for decades, I was almost as eager to move through the chapters as the author must have been to fulfill her dreams. If you’re a survivor, you will be inspired. If you enjoy good writing, you will not be disappointed. I highly recommend this book that impacted my life.
Riveting! Funny and simultaneously horrifying! The author has painted a vivid picture of a childhood spent trapped physically and mentally in a fundamentalist family and her efforts to find normalcy. A must-read for anyone who has struggled with religious abuse or wants to help others who have struggled with religious abuse. But beyond these themes, the author is also a master storyteller. You will not be disappointed!