Reviews for the Third Edition

Here is a sampling of reviews for Growing Up in Mama’s Club (3rd Edition):

“Several things impressed me about this book, but two things stood out. The courage Richard Kelly demonstrates as he takes us inside the smothering world he lived in as he grew from being an impressionable young child to becoming an independent young adult is remarkable. He gives us a no-holds-barred look at a family life choice that few of us know about or understand. With mesmerizing words that are born from his need to heal after a family tragedy, he weaves a true story that is filled with wonderful descriptions of the people and the times he lived through…and escaped from. This book is a great read, and a great education!”
— Craig Bieber “Author, Saylor’s Triangle”

“I couldn’t put this book down. This book was amazing. I used to answer the door when Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door, and was annoyed at them for bothering me. This book made me realize what people will do for their religion, for their Mothers, and to survive a childhood in that environment. I recommend this book to everyone.”
- Rose Mary

“I finished your book the day before yesterday. I tried to do a review in Amazon today, and it says I have to have purchased a book from them to do a review, and I haven’t done that. I guess I’ll have to find a book to buy. I am very impressed with your courage, your temerity, and most importantly, your sacrifice of self. To have the perseverance to endure the many years of discontent you were presented with, and to land on your feet the way you have, is remarkable. As a personable, intelligent, and apparently athletically gifted young man, I am sure you wondered many times about what could have been. As to the writing, I love your ability to create descriptions that make the places, and particularly, the people so vividly identifiable. I would know Mrs. Edwards (as she was then) if I ever met her on the street. I am amazed at your ability to recall events so far back in your life with such great detail. I am sure you had to do a great deal of research, but your connection to your past, both factually and emotionally, is impressive. Your book is well-written, and easy to read. For someone like me, who has a very limited knowledge of the world you lived in, it is a glimpse into a commitment to religion that is both fascinating and frightening. I will give it a five-star review when I can.”
— Anonymous Reader

Reviews from Readers of the Second Edition

“Kelly’s book is an amazing glimpse into the Jehovah’s Witness sub-culture as well as a touching coming-of-age tale. It was at times disturbing, saddening, and hilarious — it was always enlightening — and in the end…uplifting.”
— Michele DeVoe Lussky, writer/writing consultant

“I started reading the book early in the day and thought I would read just a few chapters. My problem was that I couldn’t put it down.”
— Lynn Beckett, math and science teacher

“The book was so moving and very interesting to someone who has ‘been there, done that.’”
—John Tyler, business person and former Jehovah’s Witness

“I read this book at the urging of my husband who knew Mr. Kelly when they were children. What a great story! I had no idea what it was like to grow up as a Jehovah’s Witness. Every chapter revealed something new for me. Now I know why my husband feels the way he does and what he went through as a child.”
—Sharon Fikse, retired accounting supervisor

“The book was terrific! Not only was the content very well written, but it provided interesting tidbits about Jehovah’s Witnesses and the author’s reaction to living under the ‘rule of truth.’”
— Jackie Burgess, housewife

“I can’t remember reading a more compelling story. It was so moving that I did not want the book to end.”
— Clarence Hogeterp, owner of Redux Books

“I really enjoyed this fast-moving, heart-rending story of a child who attempts to conform to a belief system at odds with his intellectual capacity. The boy’s ultimate triumph over religious indoctrination should be inspirational for people of all ages.”
— Bob Rogers, photographer and writer

“Mr. Kelly’s book is excellent! The vivid details, dialogue, and inner thoughts of the main character helped draw me into the story. The ancient mountain rocks of the Gap, the sage brush, the sulfur smell of the creek, and the breeze, all are familiar to me. The dialogues really tell the story by giving the narrator a means of reacting to each situation. The ‘booger’ scene, revolting, yet hard not to chuckle with, is a classic example of the idiosyncrasies of the Club. Although I’m not an expert at specific formulas for genre, the structure of the book was similar to that David and Richard Pelzer’s books.”
—Byron Evans, Springville, Utah, Public Library

“The book holds your interest and is easy to read. Those of us who were raised in or affiliated with the Watchtower Society or Jehovah’s Witness religion, will surely relate to the stories in the book and the chapters in Richard’s life as he grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness. His struggles as a youth being raised in the ‘truth,’ as Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to their religion, are very similar to those of all of us who have been affiliated with the Jehovah’s Witness religion. The book is filled with humor as well as sorrow and gives a fair and honest account of Richard’s life growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness. A very good read.”
—Stan Covell, business person and former Jehovah’s Witness

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