I was very pleased to receive this comment from Brad Jarrett (Illinois) on June 23, 2012:
“Richard, I just finished both of your books, Growing Up in Mama’s Club and The Ghosts from Mama’s Club. It is amazing how your life parallels my life as well as many that leave ‘the club.’ I too heard that knock on the door at a young age (3 1/2 years old) and remember her well. I left about 6 years ago after 40 years. I have a 27-year-old son, 40+ family members, including sisters and mother and father along with many, many JW ‘friends’ that will not even acknowledge my existence since I left. My 18-year-old daughter will soon be told not to speak to me, but at this point in time she is still talking with me. I remarried to a beautiful and talented woman. We have a 5-year-old son that is remarkable. And, after reading your books, I had this unbelievable peace knowing that I will never do to him what my mother did to me after she joined ‘the club.’ Thank you for taking the time to put your life into writing and sharing it with us.
“My real hope is finding a good read for my wife. She, to this day, cannot fathom or understand how I stayed in the religion so long, and how even today it affects me greatly. Not so much the shunning, as I have many real friends and family today, but the emotional and decision-making affected by 40 years of brain washing. No one can understand unless they have been through it themselves.”
After receiving Brad’s comments, I responded with:
“Brad, thank you so much for your observations after reading my books. It is comments like yours that make my day as a writer. If you are so inclined, share those comments as a review of Ghosts on Amazon. You would be amazed how many people are out there just like you. Your review will connect with them. I would also like to use your comments on a new link that I plan to add to my website, if you are comfortable with that.”
Brad responded with:
“I will do that. You are most welcome to use my comments (please correct the spelling and punctuation errors) . Thank you again for being so forthcoming. Your writing reminds me of Ray Franz’s writing; you didn’t sugarcoat to make you or your family the victims – although you were. That endears your writing to so many, including myself. That is a very hard thing to do when writing about one’s life. I was able to befriend Ray Franz the last 18 months of his life and it was heartwarming to see he was still the honest, soft-spoken, yet brave person he appeared to be in his writings. Richard, please let me know the link to your blog when you have time.” (www.richardekelly.com)