This past year I read the book Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism and I have been obsessed with reading about cults ever since! Lay Your Body Down is a great fictionalized account of a woman’s escape and re-entwinement with a religious cult. As a child Delilah Walker was brought and raised in a mega church by her parents. Pastor Rick Franklin is the head of the Messiah, and his strict rules and widespread reach have created an army of followers. I kept trying to figure out which religious group this book is based on, and the Duggar family’s The Institute of Basic Life Principles gave me the most similar vibes. Very strict rules on dating, clothing, and teaching women their “place” and how to be a noble wife.
In her college years, Delilah leaves the Messiah and Bower, Minnesota for good. She is labeled as an outsider and is frankly kind of a hot mess. On Facebook she sees that her first love Lars has passed away suddenly due to a hunting accident. Delilah makes the choice to go back to Bower for his funeral but is immediately caught back up in the politics of the Messiah. When approached by Lars’ family, Del learns that not everyone may be telling the truth about the accident. Del begins to investigate the events leading to Lars’ death and learns that the reach of the church and Pastor Rick is everywhere even with the sheriffs in charge of the case. No one wants the truth to come out, and everyone seems determined to drive Del out of Bower.
This book had a lot of twist and turns and a whole lot of killing for a book based off a religious cult. With some very suspenseful moments, this book was captivating. You never know who to trust or who is going to be in the line of fire next. Some areas of the teachings of this religious sect were very Handmaid’s Tale-like and were a bit cringey to read and made my blood boil. If you are intrigued by religious cults, definitely pick up Lay Your Body Down!
Did you like this book?
Click on a heart to rate it!
GBC Reader Reviews