Title: The Burn Zone: A Memoir
Author: Renee Linnell
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publish Date: October 9, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "After seven years of
faithfully following her spiritual teacher, Renee Linnell finally
realized she was in a cult and had been severely brainwashed. But how
did that happen to someone like her? She had graduated magna cum laude
with a double degree. She had traveled to nearly fifty countries alone
before she turned thirty-five. She was a surf model and a professional
Argentine tango dancer. She had started five different companies and had
an MBA from NYU. How could someone like her end up brainwashed and in a
My Two Cents:
"The Burn Zone" is a memoir by Renee Linnell, a smart woman who ends up in a cult. Cults have always been fascinating to me. Whenever I read about them, I always wonder about whether or not I would be able to recognize what I was walking into and getting away from it or would I be sucked in? Linnell's story shows just how easily it can happen. This was a fascinating memoir that was scary and absorbing but luckily, ends up well.
We all want to be accepted and needed. Both of those things are such basic human desires. Linnell had an incredibly difficult childhood and young adulthood and was looking for a path to being accepted and loved. She thinks she finds the path to that in a meditation group. The leader and her co-leader start out giving Linnell whats she thinks she needs but as she gets deeper into the group, the leaders get more controlling. I thought the author did a really good job of capturing the push and pull of wanting to totally belong while not being sure of this path.
The writing of the book was good. It's nicely paced and you're rooting for Linnell along the way. She was a great person to follow through a situation like this. One thing that tripped me up was the timeline of the book jumps back and forth between different points in Linnell's life. At some points, it wasn't clear what time the book was talking about, which was a little confusing. Overall, this was a great memoir!