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Free to Be: How I Went From Unhappily Married Conservative Bible Believer to Happily Divorced Atheistic Humanist in One Year and Several Complicated Steps by [Williams, Kaleesha]
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Free to Be: How I Went From Unhappily Married Conservative Bible Believer to Happily Divorced Atheistic Humanist in One Year and Several Complicated Steps Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 269 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Kaleesha Williams accomplishes her musing, writing, and goat-wrangling in rural southeastern Missouri—that is, when she has time between homeschooling and adoring her seven children, gardening, making goat milk soap, planning projects with Denny, and trying to get her sourdough English muffins to cook up properly. Her family moved to Missouri in 1990 when her parents realized that the answer to the riddle, “What’s green and goes backward?” was their current state and the state of her birth, Vermont. Now that she’s out of her religious bubble and in her right mind (eh, questionable), Williams is considering that Vermont is actually one of the few states thinking and acting progressively. Regardless, she anticipates calling Fredericktown, Missouri home for a good long while. Though Williams is a homeschool dropout, since high school she has worked as a teacher, nurse, accountant, CEO, mechanic, plumber, electrician, carpenter, landscaper, gardener, photographer, veterinarian, goat breeder, counselor, dietician, chef, baker, dishwasher, laundress, seamstress, event coordinator, chauffeur, diplomat, painter, decorator, fitness coach, masseuse, astronomer, and nanny, all within her own home and among her family, often performing many of these roles in the course of a single day. For peanuts. And brownies. And foot rubs. And she loves it. The first bits of writing Williams had published were some poems as a teenager. Most recently she has published articles in the Countryside And Small Stock Journal and the Astronomical League’s Reflector magazine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 585 KB
  • Print Length: 269 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IZ0Y1XY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #637,655 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is probably a valuable memoir for born-again Christians, or those in other strictly religious lifestyles who are questioning their faith. The author is very brave and clearly passionate in her quest for finding and sharing her truth. She has a likeable and very natural voice in which she shares all the inner turmoil of freeing herself from religious strictures and the ensuing breakdown of her marriage. Her developing love of astronomy though out the memoir is an interesting symbol of her disengagement from her physical life at a time when it was very difficult, and of course the acceptance of science as an opposing view to the religion she had grown out of.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Superb. Clear, smart, sometimes funny but above all honest. Williams is a fantastic example of someone breaking free of dogma to take control of life. Essential reading for anyone making this difficult and troublesome jump from superstition and control to a meaningful life in objectivity. She's also a great writer with the ability to make emotion both clear and instructional. Grab it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First of all, what an awesome subtitle. This book is a collection of blog entries over a year relating the tale of the authors growth and growing pains as her life gets completely turned around. A wonderful story of lightness and intensity as change takes hold and shakes everything up. Her lifestyle and culture is a world away from my own and yet her detailing of her thoughts and feelings connected with me so easily. A wonderful read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9cc773b4) out of 5 stars 25 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca64df8) out of 5 stars A painfully honest personal journey that tells a wider story 24 Jun. 2014
By T J Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Kaleesha Williams’s self-portrait of a wife, mother and questioning individual is as personal as it is more widely illustrative. It could so easily have been one person’s view of the death of a marriage, a blame-riddled take on events from a single perspective, but Williams manages to use her own experiences as a lens, her thought processes laid bare in often painful detail. Covering a year, the story is seen through journal entries, a period in which the author fights a war on two fronts, struggling to hold together a large young family while she come to terms with an unfolding rejection of religious dogma, an orthodoxy that had done much to drive this fiercely intelligent woman into the shallows.

Thoughtful, analytical and endlessly questioning, Williams is determined to take nothing for granted. There is nothing here that has not been rigorously tested and appraised before it can be trusted or embraced, whether it is from her traditional religious upbringing or from the newer reasoning platform that emerges as the story unfolds. If only more of us did that.

This analysis is very well handled, never drifting into hyperbole, waffle and obsession – quite an art in itself. Williams never portrays herself as a tragic heroine, commendably, and there is no spin in her favour. She is as touchingly forgiving to her protagonists as she is suspicious of the natural temptation to sail under new flags.

I think she could write first-class fiction given that her emotional scenarios are portrayed with such a lean and flowing clarity. Her descriptions of the day-to-day minutiae on the farm are also both charming and informative.

Being such a personal journey you are left hoping for the best for the author, not to mention all the other personalities involved. Good things come from the worst of times – hopefully in this case it will be more writing from a highly accomplished scribe.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca64e4c) out of 5 stars Snapshots from a Changing Life 17 May 2014
By Prahasaurus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author documents her conversion from Christianity to atheism, her failing marriage and eventual divorce, and, fortunately, new love. All in the span of an incredibly busy 12 months... And while somehow maintaining her sanity, and homeschooling seven kids! She includes journal entries, additional commentary, and raw snapshots of her thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams as she radically transforms herself. I think this is the value of the book, the reader feels as if he or she is there with the author throughout, experiencing what she experienced as it happened. It's what kept me reading, curious to know how it would all play out, how the author would cross those great divides.

I couldn't help but think, however, that there are 3-4 books here. Because she touches on so many issues, there's not a lot of depth to her analysis. For example, it was her own study of the Bible that convinced her it couldn't be true. That led to Deism, and eventually to atheism. But this journey is presented in stops and starts, not as a coherent whole. It was only at the very end of the book that we see some of her thought processes in a bit more detail, as she tried to make sense of inconsistencies in the Old and New Testament. This was fascinating, but I had hoped there would be much more of this. It was included as almost an afterthought, or so it seemed to me. But that entire thought process was the main reason I purchased the book in the first poace! I really wanted to learn more about how that all happened.

The breakup of her marriage was another theme. I had assumed religion was a big reason for this: her conversion to atheism drove a wedge between her and her ex husband. But that wasn't the case at all. But again, we didn't really learn about that until the very end of the book. We also learn, again at the end of the book, that her ex was a major driver in helping her reexamine her religious views, which eventually led to her abandonment of Christianity. That almost seemed out of character for her ex husband, as I had assumed he was more of a slacker, intellectually and physically, not someone who would take the initiative and try to understand more, at least based on her earlier writings.

I was also surprised about the omission of her kids. We hear a lot about them in general terms, she has clearly made them a focal point in her life, she comes across as a fantastic mother. And seven kids, all homeschooled! So how did they manage this tumultuous year, with divorce, their mother's spiritual conversion, and a new partner that now lives with them? Going from an extremely religious environment, which they had known their entire lives, to a more humanistic one must have caused a lot of confusion, at least for the older kids, or not? It was never really discussed. How did their homeschooling curriculum change, or did it? Seems like a huge omission.

I believe this is the author's first book, and it's a great initial effort. It's amazing she was able to put this together after all she has gone through. You have to admire her strength and determination. I hope she writes more. I'm sure she will have many more adventures as an atheist raising her family in the middle of the Bible Belt. I only hope future efforts are a bit more focused, because I think there is a lot more she can say about these topics, if she only limits herself a bit to one big theme, and really fleshes it out.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca68144) out of 5 stars Disappointing. 24 Dec. 2014
By Melanie D. Typaldos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disappointing, that's the word I would use. Or dishonest. I wouldn't say that the author lies, but she does not come off as honest about her experiences, which is the whole reason to read a book like this. If you are contemplating leaving your religion, or if you wonder what the consequences of that would be--the trials, the hardships, the costs, the effects on friends and family, especially with seven children--then this book delivers none of that. It is a look at one person's journey, but only through the high points. Okay, not completely fair, she does talk about some low points but not with any depth, not with real emotion. It is a view of a terrifying journey being made by someone else seen from such a great distance that the land looks flat. The book reads flat.

Also, she could seriously use a good editor. There are many grammatical and typographical errors.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca6803c) out of 5 stars What a gift... 15 Mar. 2014
By Lisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Honest and real and unapologetic. Something we can all learn from even if the details are different. The quest to finding our true selves is universal and I have enjoyed following kaleesha's path as I gain awareness into my own.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca68228) out of 5 stars Couldn't Finish 31 Aug. 2014
By guest - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This author's thoughts seemed disorganized and meandering. Her journey may be a great story, but I just was not into the format I guess.
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