Seven years after Renee Linnell lost numerous people she loved and sought solitude through a Buddhist spiritual teacher, she discovered she had joined a cult and was severely brainwashed.
Flyleaf bookstore is hosting Linnell to discuss her recent memoir, “The Burn Zone,” on Monday at 7 p.m. Linnell’s intent through this book was to heal by writing her story, but also to help others heal and show people they are not alone in their experiences.
“The book started as a catharsis and I was just journaling to get the story out of me so I could heal and then the more I wrote the better I felt, and the better I felt the less shame I had around telling people close to me what had happened,” Linnell said. “And as I started to tell them what had happened, they all had the same reaction. Like 'Oh my god, you have got to write a book,' and I realized I had been writing a book.”
Linnell said she looks forward to her discussion at Flyleaf because she sees independent bookstores as a place for misfits. Linnell said all people are misfits in their own ways, and Flyleaf allows a place for everyone to come together. Her time will be spent discussing with the audience the themes of the memoir and how there are differences in different people's destinies.
“Linnell’s ability to embrace her whole self, imperfections and all, is a great teacher for all of us," Meredith Rom, author of "Just Be: A Search for Self-Love in India" said, as quoted on the Flyleaf website. "THAT is true self-love, a beautiful permission slip to embrace our own imperfections.”