by Andy Demsky. Boise, ID: Pacific Press, 1995.
Anita Jackson is raised in a trailer park by a single mother. Her mother goes from church to church trying to find acceptance, finally forsaking her assembling together. Craving God's love and acceptance, Anita surrenders to the influence of hack "Christian" comedian come cult leader Terrance Malle. She sells most of her possessions and moves to his compound, Omega House, genaric name of every fictional cult you've ever heard of. Omega House quickly turns out to be as oppressive and sexually screwed up as you were expecting. Anita is rescued by the local police, and later goes to college where she meets Kevin Garr, a preacher's son. She finally reaalizes that she needs to stop focusing on the end of the world and "give Jesus a chance" as Kevin's minister father says, even though you can't find that in the Bible.
This book gets points for being a Christian novel that doesn't suck.
It also gets points for having the feel of an actual biography/personal testimony book.
On the other hand, I kind of felt cheated thinking it was a true story all this time, then finding out it was a novel when I searched the internet.
One thing in particular I have a problem with is that the theme of the novel seems to be not to worry about the end times and the new world order and just focus on "the love of Jesus" or whatever. While many churches put too much emphasis on fear and every horrible thing the government is doing, other churches go to the other extreme and make any talk of these kinds of subjects taboo.
Another more minorary thing I have a problem with is Anita's guilt over getting Tara, her co-worker in a doctor's office, fired. This is a medical practice, not a charity that gives jobs to overweight, emotionally disturbed broads who couldn't find their way out of a wet paper bag. There's too much of this kind of thinking in the Christian church; that we have to be "nice" to employees and put up with their problems over running an organization or a company properly.