The Book of Essie
Book Review - The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir
I love a good cult story (or radical religious story in this case) - whether it is a book or television show or movie. You might remember my post about The Girls by Emma Cline or The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. I binged watched Big Love and The Path and Wild Wild Country. I'm eagerly awaiting Leah Remini's new season of Scientology and the Aftermath. And speaking of Scientology, I think Going Clear (the documentary...I never read the book, shame on me!) really got me started on my interest in radical religions and cults. But anyway, back to the book...
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir tells the story of Esther Ann Hicks, Essie for short. She is the youngest of child of a fire-and-brimstone pastor and his wife Celia who star in a reality television show called Six for Hicks that promotes their particular brand of religion. But Essie is about to cause problems for her family when, at the age of seventeen, her mother discovers that Essie is pregnant. The family must deal with this quietly and discreetly....an abortion overseas? Send Essie away and try to pass the baby off as Celia's? Or plan a block-buster wedding for the teenager? As her mother tries to figure out the best way to handle the problem, Essie has plans of her own. Oh, and what about the father?
The best part about this book was Essie's determination to make her own decisions. She sets in place a plan that secures her future, helps out a friend, and reveals the father in one swift move. The book isn't a thrill ride, but rather a slowly simmering plot that only comes to a real boil at the end. Some might say the book was slow at times, but I kind of liked how it differed from thrillers and murder mysteries. The identity of the baby's father remained a mystery through most of the book but it was a background story to Essie's plan.
These photos were taken at our vacation rental when my husband and I went to San Diego with his family. We tried to slip to the back yard by the pool without being noticed one morning so that we could snap these pictures quickly. But a few minutes after we started snapping photos my husband's siblings and their significant others came out to hang out by the pool and see what we were up to. This is the photo Eric captured when I saw them coming out - it perfectly captures how awkward I am when taking photos. I don't want anyone watching. Hahaha