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Beyond the Cabin

Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Summary

Born into a controlling, abusive cult and betrayed by those he trusted, Josh hungers for freedom from the Fundamental Faith in God. After his first escape attempt fails, Josh takes even more solace in a rustic cabin he and his oldest brother made, finding peace in isolation.

After unspeakable tragedy strikes, Josh flounders for hope and anything that will soften the grief threatening to destroy him.

Determined to escape the cult that offers only heartbreak and loneliness, he's stunned by an unexpected connection with one of the other kids in the cult orphanage. That doesn't stop him and he continues to prepare for a final escape.

But when the other kids in the cult need him to protect them and be part of their family, is Josh betraying them by trying to get away?

©2014 Jared Nathan Garrett (P)2017 Jared Nathan Garrett

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A fantastic listen

Another great story narrated by Bill As always the narration is superb. Highly recommended, week worth a listen

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The cult: should I stay or should I go now?

Although based on real life experiences, this book is a fictional story of life in a cult. It is told from the point of view of Josh, a 14-year-old boy, born and raised in the cult. We get some very interesting insight into the going-ons within the cult: all the restrictions, abuse and lies the children (and possibly some of the adults as well) are exposed to on a daily basis. It’s scary but at the same time fascinating to witness the “brainwashing” and total control efforts through the eyes of Josh. I am definitely thankful I never had to experience anything like that.
Beyond the cabin is also a captivating coming-of-age story that makes it a perfect read/listen for YA and adult readers alike.
It is narrated brilliantly by Bill Nevitt who really brought the story to life.

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  • DubaiReader
  • Holsworthy, Devon, United Kingdom
  • 15-02-19

Life in a cult.

Although published as a novel, this book is the semi-autobiographical account of the author's upbringing in a breakaway (from Scientology) cult. His mother is the cult leader but doesn't show any love her children. Discipline consists of a huge amount of chores and lines, often directed at the wrong child. Severe beatings also take place, but the children hide their bruises through some feeling of shame or protection of the perpetrator.

Josh is fourteen when his older brother decides he's had enough and leaves without warning. Josh feels betrayed and angry. They had been building a cabin in the woods and this becomes a place of refuge for Josh. Although he lives in a house full of children, he doesn't have any close friends and seems to be constantly at loggerheads with the other boys. Which brings me to my main gripe with the book - the inane conversation between the boys; which seemed to consist of a huge number of insults such as 'jerk', 'moron' and 'idiot'. As the author is writing from his own experience I can only assume that this reflected the level of conversation, but it did make for irritating reading.

As a bird's eye view of life in a cult this was definitely disturbing. The boys pretty much raise themselves, while the older girls become mothers to the younger ones. The children are desperate for love and attention and there is only one adult who shows any level of care at all. The children are educated by the adults who are less effective at begging for funds on the streets; even the teacher herself, didn't understand algebra.

Thankfully, the author is now happily married with a family of his own, but in an interview he does admit that his upbringing has left scars. He tries to show his children infinite love, rejecting the role model of his own childhood.

Finally, I was listening to the audiobook and I should make a mention of the narration by Bill Nevitt, who managed to do the girls voices as well as the boys, without sounding forced.

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Thought Provoking

A well written book about life in a religious cult. It is written from the view point of Josh a 14 year old boy (nearly 15!) who has reached the teenage rebellious stage and is questioning the world he was born into. Josh’s mother Miriam, who is the head of cult, has absolutely no maternal feeling for her children and is dictatorial in the extreme. The children are ill prepared for the realities of life outside “The Faith” as Josh’s elder brother Malachi discovers. All in all a very disturbing insight into life in a religious cult. Extremely well narrated by Bill Nevitt.

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  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 11-02-19

Cult life from child's perspective

Beyond the Cabin by Jared Nathan Garrett is not what I expected. This book focuses around a 14 year old boy in Pennsylvania who lives on a cult compound. I could not wrap my mind around not knowing one's father, or living on a commune. Bill Nevitt performed this book brilliantly. He has distinguishable voices for the various characters. I could hear exactly who was speaking. The author included vivid imagery in this story and made some of the characters to be endearing while others were despicable. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review.

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Brilliant narrator!

I did enjoy listening to this book . I listened to it while walking the dog every day and found myself walking a little bit further so that I could carry on listening. Bill Nevitt is a great narrator and I always enjoy listening to his books.

I enjoyed the transformation of the main character through the trials he goes through. I won't mention them here as I don't like reviews that give too much away. Sometimes there were funny moments but a lot of the events left me feeling cross about the way the children were treated.

I did think from the synopsis that there would be more details given about the cult and its practices and beliefs but since the main character isn't interested in it we don't really find out a lot about all that. It wasn't quite what I expected but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

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Adults with no clue. Children with no hope.

As the very brief Afterwards informs us, although this is a work of fiction, it mirrors the experiences of the author, himself.
At first sight, the children, a mix of boys and girls aged between about 4and 17 years, had an idyllic life. Siblings to play with on the several hundred acres of land, including forest, home schooling, weekly visits to the library to stack up on books, and a big old house and outbuildings to explore. But appearances can be very deceptive as Joshua, the main character, relating his story in the first lerson, reveals.

Joshua's mother, Miriam, is the leader of a religious cult, it's full name abbreviated by the kids to The Faith. Whilst most of the dozen adult members of the Sect go to 'work' each day begging for money in the local town, those left behind keep the children's day filled with activity, classes, including the dreaded algebra which their teacher herself didn't understand. prayer meetings, constant lectures on their failures to meet with unrealistic expectations, private shouted tirades against even for the four year olds about respect, and constant punishments, meted out to all for any infringement by one - lines, extra duties, spankings and the interminable lectures, an authority of control which kept the children separated by fear.

At age 14, Josh had two brothers, both Miriam's boys but the different fathers unknown. He loved his big brother, Mal, whose only thought was of escape as soon as he was 18 and, when he left, Josh felt totally alone. This beautifully written story is of what happens both in the house of The Faith and inside Josh's head after his brother has gone. Read with clarity, sensitivity and good intonation, Bill Nevitt further adds to the ongoing effect of the book.

My thanks to the rights holder of Beyond the Cabin who freely gifted me with a complimentary copy at my request after I had seen mention of it in the narrator's email. It was an insightful read about misguided management and the emotional destruction of fear, turning children to machines: tell them what to do and they do it. And, 'What is family, anyway. "
Recommended.

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Beautiful and heartbreaking

I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. It’s a heartwarming but sometimes shocking tale of a young boy who grows up in a cult religion without any real connections or love from anyone. After the loss of his biological brother the boy finally learns to not only stand up agains the horrific abuse going on in the group but also to final forge real relationships with some of the other children of the religion. This is a beautiful coming of age story in many way although in a very different setting to what they normal are in. The excellent Bill Nevitt narration was great as always as well.

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Quite shocking

I genuinely felt I was listening to Josh's diary the entire time. Whilst there were a couple of shocking events, it was mostly just a record of the daily drudgery of life in a cult. The relentless decimation of the children's personalities as the adults work enthusiastically to turn them into brainwashed drones with no room for self awareness or free thought. The constant fear of punishment and threat of violence was an undercurrent that should shame those in charge to the core of their being. It was genuinely upsetting and so believable, and I had decided well before the end to Google the author and see if I could find out something of his background. It was frighteningly real with no 'Hollywood glamour' added in an attempt to make it more marketable. What was also very real was Bill Nevitt's narration. Now I happen to know that Mr Nevitt is not a 14 year old boy, but he sure sounds like one in this audio book. His pitch, intonation and pronunciation were absolutely spot on for a teenager. Credit where it's due, this wasn't narrating, this was voice acting and we are treated to an Oscar worthy performance. Beyond the Cabin is marketed for 13 years and up, and I'm very much the 'up' part of the scale! It kept me captivated for over 10 hours. Jared Nathan Garrett doesn't set out to shock us, but shocking it is.

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Profile Image for Victoria Schwimley
  • Victoria Schwimley
  • 04-06-18

Touching story of a brother's love

This story has tragedy from the start. I've read several true accounts of children being forced to live in cults, and it's something I've never understood. Child Protective Service can be quick to remove a child from his or her home because a parent isn't providing adequate nutrition or making sure the child goes to school, but when a child is raised in a cult and "tortured" in the name of religion, the behavior is excused because the parent is protected by The Religious Freedom Act. I'm not knowledgeable about it, but I know what goes on in this story has nothing to do with the Lord I know and love. That said, it is a fiction story, though the author states the situations in the story is not a far stretch from the truth. I really liked this story and the only thing, in my opinion that kept it from being a five-star read for me was the fact that often I was confused as to who was speaking in the dialogue. I would have related more to the characters with a little more scene description. I would highly recommend this story to friends who are interested in cult activity, even though the story is fiction.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for W. Swore
  • W. Swore
  • 27-10-17

A boy without a mother comes of age inside a cult

The story follows Joshua, a teen boy who wants nothing more than to leave the cult he grew up in. Children of the cult have no mother or father figure but are raised in a strange loveless community. As older siblings run away, Joshua must decide if he will stay or go. I found his coming of age struggle inspiring. His voice was very true to a sometimes young fifteen-year-old attitude, sometimes kind and thoughtful, and sometimes annoying with the character grumbling about things. All in all it was a thought-provoking read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous Reviewer
  • 13-10-17

Shocking and Heartwarming at the same time!

This book will leave you feeling all kinds of emotions: anger, sadness, love, friendship, and joy. The author did an excellent job of showing about the cult that Joshua lived in, but making the book about relationships and overcoming hard things. At times I wanted to strangle characters and other times hug them. Listen to/read this if you're looking for a unique perspective on growing up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane Johnson
  • 12-10-17

Engaging and thought provoking

Interesting read about a young boy and his experience growing up in a cult. It's not so much about the cult but about the lessons that we can learn from life. Joshua's experiences teach morals such as perseverance, forgiveness and self control. We are who we make ourselves to be, in spite of our surroundings.

I really enjoyed this coming of age story and the engaging with the main character as he turned from boy to man.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ssss
  • 08-10-17

Couldn't stop listening

From the beginning I was hooked and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I finished it in a couple of days. I loved all the feelings the main character goes through. Also, part of what made it even more intriguing was the fact that the author really was raised in a cult and has seen some of the things in the storyline.

The only problem with the book is that I need to know what happens next in the main character's life. We need a sequel!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Athena Lee Brown
  • 28-07-19

A Book To Remember

Bill Nevitt did a great job in narrating this story I did like that it was one of feeling liked one belonged and growing up to know how you look at things are truly up to you. It was sad and heavy at times which at times made me want to quit reading. I am so glad I did.

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  • Donna Wiebe
  • 02-06-19

Enjoyable ' becoming an adult' story.

Based on the authors life experiences of growing up in a cult situation, this is a novel comprised by combining the characteristics of different people that were part of his growing up and the highlights of the major life events. Definitely interesting to learn about an area of life that most of us have never experienced but often wonder about. The narration performance was well done and really added to the listening experience. I would recommend this book.

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  • Roger Fauble
  • 10-03-19

Enjoyable

My first read from author Jared Garrett. I don't restrict myself to a particular genre. I'm a sucker for anything with memorable characters and Jason Garrett's characters are memorable. Not my typical read but well-written & entertaining. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).

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  • Rayc
  • 23-02-19

Poignant

Beyond the Cabin.. A beautifully written and sensitive novel - written thru the eyes of a 15 year old boy who lives in a religious cult.
Touching and raises questions about how children view the adult who look after them.
Bill Nevitt narrates this perfectly conveying the despair and anger and confusion this boy felt.
I was given a free copy of this audiobook at my own request, and voluntarily leave this review.

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  • Mindjacked
  • 19-02-19

Beyond the Cabin

Josh a boy becomes a man because he has to, to protect those he loves from those that are suppose to love them. But in this cult family that are suppose to be god fearing people, it seems they have lost track of the importance of what is in front of their face.

This is a well paced book with great characters that are somewhat based on a true story that the author lived through himself. The twists and turns will keep you reading and cheering Josh and his siblings on as you learn each of their stories that even each of them didn't know and they where living in the same house. If you are lucky enough to get the audio version narrated by Bill Nevitt than you are in for a treat, as his voice adds just a little bit of something special to the story that will make it unforgettable. This book is really good but I was sadden to hear the part that the author went through any part of this but maybe by spreading the word someone really can help one of these children some day.