||Julia Scheeres was raised as a fundamentalist Christian in the Midwest by a brutally violent father and a negligent mother obsessed with religion. Raped by one adopted brother, Scheeres forms a bond with David, her other brother, who is black, and the two manage to survive--barely--a truly horrific childhood, and then are sent away to a fundamentalist reform school in the Dominican Republic where they endured further abuse--but at least were free of their barely human parents. Scheeres reports all this with humor and an astonishing lack of rancor.
||Julia and her adopted brother, David, are sixteen-years-old. Julia is white. David is black. It is the mid-1980s and their family has just moved to rural Indiana, a landscape of cottonwood trees, trailer parks, and an all-encompassing racism. At home are a distant mother?more involved with her church?s missionaries than her own children?and a violent father. In this riveting and heartrending memoir Julia Scheeres takes us from the Midwest to a place beyond imagining: surrounded by natural beauty, the Escuela Caribe?a religious reform school in the Dominican Republic?is characterized by a disciplinary regime that extracts repentance from its students by any means necessary. Julia and David strive to make it through these ordeals and their tale is relayed here with startling immediacy, extreme candor, and wry humor.