Good morning and happy Monday! I just came off of a weekend that actually didn’t involve a ton of reading. After the last few books I’ve chosen, I just needed the mental and emotional break. However, I did finish up a quick read I discovered through Instagram. It sparked my interest, so I had to order a copy and see what this book was about. Today, I bring you, The Devil On The Doorstep: My Escape From A Satanic Sex Cult by Annabelle Forest.
This story is based on true events of a girl in Wales who is brought up in a dark and twisted world of sex by her uncaring mother and a diabolical and completely creepy “cult” leader, Colin Batley. Due to religious beliefs, Anna is never allowed outside of her cul-de-sac neighborhood and stays among other clan members. From childhood, she witnesses her mother and other women of the group performing sexual acts on Colin, and being traded off to other men for relations and marriage. Anna doesn’t know any better when it comes to what is going on, until it begins to happen to her at age eleven. She endures the wrath and oppression of Colin for over a decade. Thankfully, shortly after she gives birth to her daughter, Emily, Anna finally gathers her strength and courage to run away and never look back.
To start, I’m oddly fascinated by cults of any kind, so I had to give this a go despite the subject matter involved. Massive, MASSIVE warning to anyone interested in this book: this is a TOUGH read. There were parts of this story where I thought I would have to put it to a stop and walk away, and I can tolerate almost any topic/genre/what-have-you. In the end, I kept turning pages because I felt I owed it to the author to hear her full story. Shutting the book before I was done would be like turning my back on all those years of torture she endured, so it didn’t feel right to give up on what she had to say.
The things the author had to go through from the age of eleven were unthinkable and almost (almost) unbelievable. It’s despicable to think there are people out there like Colin Batley who are capable of such atrocities. His ability to corrupt and brainwash numerous people into his nonsensical and perverted beliefs is pure insanity.
Anna is one of the most courageous people I’ve read about in quite awhile. I’m thankful she escaped and overcame her suppression and was brave enough to share her story with the world. She saved herself, her daughter, and the rest of the women and children who served Colin and his bizarre beliefs he tried to pass off as religion. I’m ecstatic that after everything, Anna was able to find her happy ending.
My Final Rating: four out of five stars