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susan rios

La Crescenta, Ca
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 5
  • ratings
  • Before We Were Yours

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Wingate
  • Narrated by: Emily Rankin, Catherine Taber
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45,751
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,650
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,503

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge - until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children's Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents - but they quickly realize the dark truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I was rivetted, finished in three days.

  • By Lin Cloward on 06-26-17

A Captivating Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-18

We chose "Before We Were Yours" to read in my book club, and all of us agreed we loved it. It's one of the most captivating and interesting books we've read in awhile. The book is based on true facts about the Tennessee Children's Orphan Society, and at times is difficult to read, because of the abuse these children suffered. However, the story compels you to read on. It's so amazing that for years, Georgia Tan got away quite literally with murder, and abuse of children, and kidnapping, and all the while people are thinking what a good and kind woman she was, helping these poor orphans.
Just a really well written book, and I enjoyed the narrator too.

  • Ruthless

  • Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me
  • By: Ronald Miscavige, Dan Koon
  • Narrated by: Harvey Betancourt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 677
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 609

The only book to examine the origins of Scientology's current leader, Ruthless tells the revealing story of David Miscavige's childhood and his path to the head seat of the Church of Scientology, told through the eyes of his father. Ron Miscavige's personal, heartfelt story is a riveting insider's look at life within the world of Scientology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ruthlessly Honest ~ An Engrossing Read!

  • By susan rios on 05-05-16

Ruthlessly Honest ~ An Engrossing Read!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-05-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Even if you've never heard of Scientology, this book would be interesting. Because I was in Scientology, (for many years), I found this book especially fascinating. I believe Ron told his story as truthfully as possible, and in fact, it actually helped me remember some of the reasons I got into Scientology! However, I would never go back, because I know what he writes about is truthful, and what has happened within the group is so sad, and harmful.
I was in it in the 70's and 80's, and got services from a "field auditor". The group was wonderful, and definitely used the "tech" with good intentions. It was a great time!
I'm sorry for the reason Ron decided to write the book, but I'm glad he wrote it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, the author is my favorite character, and I have a lot of respect and affinity for him after hearing his story.

What does Harvey Betancourt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I almost always prefer to listen to the author, but I think Mr. Betancourt did a good job reading this one.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I think the title is perfect as it is.

Any additional comments?

I got out of Scientology because I saw the harmful things that were happening in the organization. I read and listen to information about the "church", because I was personally involved for many years, and I know many of the people talked about. I was especially interested in Ron's story, and I found it fascinating. If I met Ron, I'd give him a Big Hug!

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • The Witness Wore Red

  • The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice
  • By: Rebecca Musser, M. Bridget Cook
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Musser
  • Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 804
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 803

Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens Rebecca Musser became the nineteenth wife of her people's prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling and emotional read

  • By Briley on 10-08-13

WOW ~ An Incredible Read by an Amazing Woman!!!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-28-16

What made the experience of listening to The Witness Wore Red the most enjoyable?

First, I prefer the author to read their own book, and knowing that this is Rebecca's own story added to my interest. Secondly, this is a shocking and amazing story, of what happens when people are born into a belief. They don't know any better, and it's so sad.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Witness Wore Red?

I love the trials, where finally, there is justice, and Rebecca faces the men who abused women and children for years.

Have you listened to any of Rebecca Musser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Witness Wore Red is the best title for this book, and for a movie.

Any additional comments?

I just love and applaud Rebecca Musser, for having the courage to question what was going on in her community and for having the incredible strength and tenacity to actually end the abuse and suffering within the community of people she loves. It was not about revenge, it was about exposing the truth to free innocent children, and to free herself. Revenge isn't wiinning, but LOVE is, because that's the ultimate victory for all. Thank you Rebecca, for
telling your incredible story. I wish I could give you a BIG HUG!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Beyond Belief

  • My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
  • By: Jenna Miscavige Hill
  • Narrated by: Sandy Rustin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,789
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,786

Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Despicable Truth Behind Scientology

  • By Tim on 02-07-13

Fascinating and Horrifying Story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-15

What made the experience of listening to Beyond Belief the most enjoyable?

This true account of life inside scientology is fascinating to listen to, and hard at times to listen to. As an ex-scientologist myself, (I purposely don't capitalize the word), I know it is hard to believe, but I know it's true. It's so in depth and personal, and I'm so glad Jenna had the courage to follow what was true for her, and that she got out!

What did you like best about this story?

What I liked about the story was how true it is, and that people who read it will know the truth about this group that calls itself a "church".

What about Sandy Rustin’s performance did you like?

The narrator was good, although I always prefer it when the author reads the book. She did a good job though.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It's horrifying to know what Jenna went through, and that, as a child, she had such a horrible life inside this organization. I loved the part when she finally left.

Any additional comments?

Good for you Jenna, for writing your story and sharing it! Thank you for speaking up.