FAQs

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You have questions? We have answers!

Here are the most frequently asked questions about Flor Edwards’ new book, Apocalypse Child.

What is Apocalypse Child about?

My memoir Apocalypse Child is about a girl (me) who grows up in an apocalyptic cult in Southeast Asia. She lives under the control of a dictator-like leader who controls his twelve thousand followers from his top-secret hiding place. Flor never sees the leader and grows up never knowing she will live to see adulthood. Instead, her future is painted with the promise of a lush heaven precluded by a torturous death because she is one of God’s chosen children who will save the world before the Great Apocalypse when she will be twelve years old. Despite the terror Flor faces, she manages to see beauty around her. But her life is once again jolted when the leader dies and Flor is thrust into the throes of mainstream society and left to make sense of it all.

Who is Flor Edwards?

For the first thirteen years of her life, Flor Edwards grew up in the Children of God. The group’s nomadic existence was based on the belief that, as God’s chosen people, they would be saved in the impending apocalypse that would envelop the rest of the world in 1993. Flor would be 12 years old. The group’s charismatic leader, Father David, kept the family on the move, from Los Angeles to Bangkok to Chicago, where they would eventually disband, leaving Flor to make sense of the foreign world of mainstream society around her. Apocalypse Child is a cathartic journey through Flor’s memories of growing up within a group with unconventional views on education, religion, and sex. Whimsically referring to herself as a real life Kimmy Schmidt, Edwards’s clear-eyed memoir is a story of survival in a childhood lived on the fringes.

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*In February 2009 Turner Publishing acquired the remaining inventory and the right to publish 431 titles formerly of Cumberland House Press. 

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Excerpt

Members were only allowed to use three squares of toilet paper per trip to the toilet, and usually it was thin and cardboard-like, not “angel soft and safe for babies’ bottoms.” I would cheat and use five, or else I’d squat down and splash cold water between my legs; but never ever would I dare use six pieces of toilet paper. I knew that disobeying the words of Father David was worse than blasphemy; it was punishable by eternal damnation.

We had a loose routine that involved morning prayer and Word Time—when we’d read scripture or letters from Father David—followed in the afternoon by chores, lunch, playtime, and light schooling—reading, writing, and arithmetic taught through books and educational videos. Dad was often out gathering donations and witnessing with Uncle Simon or Auntie Ecclesia. Mom stayed home and took care of us kids. She loved the adventure of this exotic rural life. In the middle of the afternoon, when the sun turned hazy and low clouds loomed on the horizon, she told us to put on our walking shoes and a long-sleeved shirt to protect our skin from the sun that seemed to beat down even beyond the layer of thick clouds