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Sacred Road: my journey through abuse,…

Sacred Road: my journey through abuse, leaving the Mormons & embracing…

by Todd Maxwell Preston

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3720306,014 (3.74)None
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“I loved this book!!!! As a social worker, I am so fascinated by people who survive family and personal crises to find their own journey. Sometimes this journey takes us away from family who can be the most toxic in our life. I admire Todd's honesty in his sharing and pray that his search for peace and serenity continues on his life adventure. I would recommend this book highly. ( )
  vgebhardt10 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Sacred Road: My journey through abuse, leaving the Mormons, & embracing spirituality

by Todd Maxwell Preston

The story of one mans journey to find his "own" self after being brought up to be a follower in a religion he never felt a part of. Heartfelt and raw, Todd tells his story with class and does not "bash" the way he was brought up. I would and will be recommending this book to my fellow memoir readers. ( )
  Kimmyd76 | Oct 25, 2014 |
Very interesting and extremely personal story of one man's journey through abuse, religion and addiction. I found the style of writing difficult to get through, though the story itself is very compelling and will keep you reading even if the style isn't your cup of tea. I think it must have been very difficult to tell the story and probably somewhat cathartic. An extremely courageous man for putting it all out there on paper for the world to read.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review and would definitely recommend the story to other readers.
  sheryll | Oct 5, 2014 |
Sacred Road is a man’s journey in and out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormon’s. It is his heart-breaking story of abuse at the hand of his father.

This story is a window into the life of Todd Preston and what he has lived through from childhood until now. He was abused by his father and the church. I knew very little about the Mormon faith going into this book and learned a lot of what they believe and also their lifestyles. Todd has lived in New Zealand, Australia and the US. He was baptized into the church and even went on his 2-year mission. All throughout his life he dealt with struggles, in and out of the church. He was betrayed by his family even pitting him against his wife. I did find it troubling that his marriage ended so he could go on with his life.

This is a very emotional read but a very informative one. I would recommend this book to any and all that are struggling with their Mormon faith.

I received this book from LibraryThing. ( )
  dsdumpling | Sep 11, 2014 |
The author has had a difficult time through his life, finding and discarding spiritual practices (particularly Mormonism) after an abusive childhood. This book was undoubtedly therapeutic for him to write, and may well be helpful to others who have endured similar problems - he describes in detail how he thought, felt, and acted in each scenario. My one concern is that I do not sense very much about how the people around him felt about his behaviors and why they acted the way they did toward him - it would have been a stronger book with more of that included. ( )
  gbcmars | May 18, 2014 |
I received this from Library Thing to read and review. This is the poignant story of a boy who grew up in an abuse filled Mormon home. He finally broke free of this life, and this is his story. He shows us, in very personal terms, the dark side of Mormon life, probably a side others would prefer we not see. It definitely took courage to get where he now is, and I admire him for that. The book was an okay read, though, at times I felt I needed to put it down for a while to let what I had read absorb and to remove myself from the terrible life he was living. This is definitely a book about survival and living a good life, as God would have wanted us to live. It also show the courage and determination of this young man to make this life his life and to leave behind all the horror and pain of his other life. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a strong testament to what a person can achieve despite huge roadblocks or to anyone who would like to glimpse the darker side of life some of us experience. It also will possibly help shed some light on Mormonism. ( )
  KMT01 | May 5, 2014 |
I hope more people read this book. You hear on the news all the bad things that happen in the Mormon community (It is not in anyway a church, it is a cult)but it is brushed off. To read it and the straight forward details hits the core of your being such stronger. I think it was so brave of Mr. Preston to write this book of things that happened to him. ( )
  THCForPain | Apr 21, 2014 |
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was an amazing journey of Todd finding his own way and not taking the course chosen for him. This was a quick and easy read but very inspiring. I highly recommend this book! ( )
  sportzmomof5 | Apr 14, 2014 |
I was interested to read this book as I do know a few acquaintances with the same religion. It is sad when you are born into a religion so strong that parting from it means losing your own family. I did struggle at the beginning to get into this book as I found it a bit jumpy and repetitive, however the writing did improve and I am glad I stuck with it. It needs a bit of editing, but gives a good incite into the authors life journey and experiences. ( )
  AWilliams75 | Apr 13, 2014 |
Reading the writers family's devastating life story in the beginning of this book made me a bit anxious. People who feel better listening to another person's trial and tribulation would probably find this inspiring. I was expecting a light hearted book, and a reminder of spiritual awareness.
I did find the authors life story as a Mormon and his transition into consciousness an eye opener. ( )
  UMAMH12 | Apr 10, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An honest portrayal of one man's struggle to leave behind the abuse and control of his family and church. It gives a better understanding of the techniques used to control members of the LDS Church. ( )
  poetreegirl | Apr 5, 2014 |
Sacred road.. Well i have a lot of things to say about this book.
The narration is made in a direct way and is disarming at many points. In the simplicity of his writing I found a respectable amount of sarcasm that characterizes him who has suffered.
Beginning reading, I must admit that I was tired a little with many descriptions, and extensive analysis of such single facts. But, after a while, this changed and I could not quit reading till the last page.
I was opened a window into a completely different world from what I know and have experienced in my country and my religion..
Last but not least, quotes that stay in the mind always fascinate me and I found plenty of them in this book.
We didn’t get started well but I finally loved reading it, and i will do it again..!
1 vote kathykara | Mar 27, 2014 |
This book took awhile for me to warm up to, the writing style seemed a bit too stream of consciousness and disjointed to me at first, and that made it a bit tedious to get through, but perhaps that was an intentional stylistic choice. But after awhile I began to think of it as like reading someone's journal of their story, page by page, chapter by chapter, lesson by lesson, and I got more into it. It is, of course, the story of a journey, and while there were times I felt a bit uncomfortable, as if I was invading someone's privacy and learning all the intimate details of their life that most people keep hidden, I admire the author's courage in sharing so much of his thoughts and feelings along his painful journey to peace and self-acceptance. The only real criticism I have of the book was I feel it could use a bit of tightening up in order to be more palatable to a mass audience. But as a very personal memoir, it works fairly well. ( )
1 vote nonobadkitty | Mar 23, 2014 |
This book was excellent! It was very well written, & captured my interest immediately. At times I could identify with the author, it was so compelling, yet he didn't dwell on the abuse, he only visited it. The introspection caused my own reflections as I processed his sadness & pain. What a wonderful spiritual growth to be able to rise above such a difficult childhood & early adulthood. I'll be saving this ebook to read again & maybe again! I would recommend this book to everyone; it is not just for non-fiction lovers. ( )
1 vote Paulaff | Feb 24, 2014 |
I received a copy of the book for this review.

Sacred Road is an intensely personal look-back on a period of life where the author struggled to deal with abuse and its personal effects and the effects on loved ones around him. It is hard not to see as a primary emphasis a struggle with the father and the author throughout this book. The author finally, if in a sense tragically, overcomes the abusive environment that is traced to his father’s family of origin and was augmented by the family’s experience with the Mormon Church. I write tragically, because in overcoming the abuse (taking responsibility), there were and are consequences for Todd and others (“innocent bystanders”).

Someone from the Mormon Church may take issue with Todd’s view of the church. The book does not cast the Mormon Church favorably. Throughout the book, seemingly in almost in every chapter the church is critiqued (lies, controlling, hiding, racist, ego, greedy). That Todd became a part of the Mormon Church is surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, the result of Todd’s mother pressing her husband to join or face divorce. It was her way of dealing with the abuse. Todd towards the end of this book details his admiration/love for his mother in dealing with a difficult marriage. In this book, while the father is pictured as having some good qualities/intentions, the overall thrust is Todd’s father did not and would (could?) not deal with his own abusive past and the effects it was having on his current life and family - his choice for a fear-based controlling environment.

This is a sacred, spiritual journey. If there is a religion that is pre-supposed and supported, it seems to be a religion of common sense values (dignity/self-worth, lack of exclusivity, forgiveness, unconditional love and acceptance) of which the Christian religion has some emphases. Todd embraces these common-sense values that are free of the rules/strictures of the Mormon Church-- whose rules and beliefs for Todd are not just ripe for abuse but are abuse modus operandi.

In the end, and really the beginning of a new life, Todd asserts his freedom. In the beginning of that freedom there is a sense of anxiety and dread that is absorbed by a spiritual awakening and supportive community. This new life is more fully absorbed in living, really, for the first time.

I share one reviewer’s comment that at first the writing seems amateurish. I was tempted to put it down for good. But as I read, I realized that the writing may have been stylized --the impact and roughness intended hit its mark. As I read, I became less embroiled with the prose structure and more concerned about the struggle with the father, how Todd would handle breaking away, the “innocent bystanders”, the way he treats his mother in all of this and several other ideas of which he treats. This is after all about abuse and its effects, about a father who would not stand up for his family and a boy/father who made the decision to do so. That there is a “happy” ending is to be applauded.

Who would find this book of interest? A casual reader, in my opinion, would be more than tempted to stop after one or two chapters. Someone with an interest in abuse and recovery, a social worker or someone with negative views of the Mormon Church/religion would resonate with Todd’s story. These are the kind of readers who may want to look at this book. ( )
  KevinKLF | Jan 26, 2014 |
I received this book in exchange for a review. At first I found the writing very amateurish and I nearly gave up reading it. Now after reading the book I think that was probably the case and I feel that to get a wider audience it would benefit from either a good edit, or a re-write. The style gradually improves and towards the end the writing becomes more flowery and descriptive.
As the story progressed I gradually got hooked into Todd's story and towards the end I couldn't put it down. In the middle the book wallows in his abuse and the bad things happening to him and I got a bit bogged down.
What a sad tale this is, and what an amazing recovery from abuse and control. What I find really sad is that Todd learns the Christian message for himself and the organisation he leaves doesn't have a clue about that message in reality.
I would have liked to have known some more names. Towards the end its this friend, my sister, my brothers. Even if we were told that these names had been changed. ( )
  Lindamobile | Jan 21, 2014 |
I loved this book!!!! As a social worker, I am so fascinated by people who survive family and personal crises to find their own journey. Sometimes this journey takes us away from family who can be the most toxic in our life. I admire Todd's honesty in his sharing and pray that his search for peace and serenity continues on his life adventure. I would recommend this book highly. ( )
1 vote vgebhardt10 | Jan 12, 2014 |
If you are looking for a courageous tale of one man leaving everything familiar and "safe" to find his own path in life, then I think you will like this book. I expected a little more raw emotion from a memoir, but the writing was beautiful in places and resonated with me and my own life experiences. ( )
1 vote cwhisenant11 | Jan 6, 2014 |
Sacred Road is an interesting story about the author's experience with abuse and the Mormon religion. It chronicles his process of discovering his true self.

The story moves right along and is written in a direct style. I wish there was more character development of his family members and I would have liked more descriptive settings. ( )
  LoisB | Dec 28, 2013 |
“The author eloquently shows the audience that there can be a life after suffering, and that the road to happiness is different for everyone.” - GoodbooksToday.com Reviews

Sacred Road is a deeply personal journey. The tale expressed is often tense, and yet the story is still surrounded in heartwarming and uplifting moments. Todd Preston is a master of crafting his all too real tale into something entertaining, suspenseful, and incredibly moving. The notion of spirituality versus religion is touched upon as one of the main themes, and opens doors for readers to take new things into perspective and really delve into their own thoughts of their personal senses of spirituality. Sacred Road can be heavy in this way, and so is best suited for adults or young adults who may be interested in this type of material.

Todd Preston's Sacred Road shows the audience the darker side of a Mormon life, coupled with an honest perspective not often seen in such literature. Even beyond that, Sacred Road is a story about moving on and finding who we really are, and what we believe in. It is a story about survival and what it takes in order to break free and learn from a terrible situation. The author eloquently shows the audience that there can be a life after suffering, and that the road to happiness is different for everyone. Sacred Road is gripping non-fiction at its finest as the reader learns all about Todd Preston, his father, and so many more people who affected his life in both negative and positive ways. Intense in its honesty, this story is meant to be read and given time to process on an emotional level with the audience. Because Sacred Road is an autobiography, there is the opportunity to feel as though Todd Preston is speaking directly and frankly with the reader. It is not in a diary format, and almost reads like a conversation. Preston does not ramble though. He sticks to matter-of-fact moments and hopeful anecdotes all within the truth of his complicated and incredibly interesting tale. This is what makes Sacred Road so very worth the purchase in order to add this book to any reader's library. - GoodbooksToday.com Reviews ( )
  kiwikid | Dec 24, 2013 |
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