A gripping memoir about coming of age in the stay-at-home daughter movement and the quest to piece together a future on your own terms.
Raised in the Christian patriarchy movement, Cait West was homeschooled and could only wear clothes her father deemed modest. She was five years old the first time she was told her swimsuit was too revealing, to go change. There would be no college in her future, no career. She was a stay-at-home daughter and would move out only when her father allowed her to become a wife. She was trained to serve men, and her life would never be her own.
Until she escaped.
In Rift, Cait West tells a harrowing story of chaos and control hidden beneath the facade of a happy family. Weaving together lyrical meditations on the geology of the places her family lived with her story of spiritual and emotional manipulation as a stay-at-home daughter, Cait creates a stirring portrait of one young woman’s growing awareness that she is experiencing abuse. With the ground shifting beneath her feet, Cait mustered the courage to break free from all she’d ever known and choose a future of her own making.
Rift is a story of survival. It’s also a story about what happens after you survive. With compassion and clarity, Cait explores the complex legacy of patriarchal religious trauma in her life, including the ways she has also been complicit in systems of oppression. A remarkable literary debut, Rift offers an essential personal perspective on the fraught legacy of purity culture and recent reckonings with abuse in Christian communities.
Cait West is a writer and editor based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her work has been published in The Revealer, Religion Dispatches, Fourth Genre, and Hawai`i Pacific Review, among others. As an advocate and a survivor of the Christian patriarchy movement, she serves on the editorial board for Tears of Eden, a nonprofit providing resources for survivors of spiritual abuse.
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