Uncultured is the memoir of a woman born into a cult, who escapes only to join the army, which feels increasingly like a cult too.

Cult life is even worse from a child’s point of view. Unprovoked spankings and sexual abuse from a young age is a normal day in the life of a female child within the cult. Daniella was raised by various uncles and aunties, who were really unrelated, while her parents and siblings lived their own separate lives within the cult.

I have watched and read a multitude of stories about cults. What strikes me about this memoir is the matter-of-factness of the descriptions of cult life. It’s so sad that a six-year-old is talking about almost daily physical and sexual abuse as if were a normal part of growing up.

Uncultured is a powerful account of a life that is filled with troublesome images. Usually, nothing triggers me, but this book did. It is tragic though ultimately uplifting. No matter how bad your personal story may be, it unlikely to be as bad as the author’s. And she is still alive and thriving. 4 stars.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.

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