Audiobook Review: After We Were Stolen #AudiobookReview #cults #kidnapping


A fire. Her escape. And the realization her entire life has been a lie.

When nineteen-year-old Avery awakens to flames consuming her family’s remote compound, she knows it’s her only chance to escape her father’s grueling survival training, bizarre rules, and gruesome punishments. She and her brother Cole flee the grounds for the first time in their lives, suddenly homeless in a world they know nothing about. After months of hiding out, they are arrested for shoplifting and a shocking discovery is made, resulting in the pair being separated.

Avery is alone and desperate. She is uncertain if her “parents” survived the fire and is terrified to find out. But when the police investigation reveals there may be more survivors, Avery must uncover the truth about the fire to truly be free.


Triggers: Cults, Murder, Rape, Kidnapping, PTSD

Avery lives in a compound with her parents and many brothers and sisters. Their father is the leader of their group, the Chosen. They know they will be the only survivors after the world around them dies. Avery works hard every day, growing crops, honing survival skills, and sometimes burying babies. Then she is forced to sacrifice even more, and the house is set afire. After escaping with her brother Cole, they eventually make a startling discovery. They were both kidnapped as children. Cole goes to live with his family while Avery struggles to survive on her own and flees from the shadows of her past.

This is the story of a murderous cult and the ones who escaped, but it’s also about trying to make sense of a traumatic past and learning to live again. The description of life in the cult is horrifying but very well done. Avery’s struggles to recover are imperfect and very real to life. We explore the ideas of post-traumatic stress and blocking out painful memories. The characters, love them or hate them, are all so vivid. As in real life, everything is not tied up and perfectly resolved. There are tattered strings left behind, because life is not perfect.

The audiobook was narrated by Jesse Vilinsky, who did a wonderful job of conveying the terror, confusion, desperation, determination, and pain so prevalent in this story.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


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7 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: After We Were Stolen #AudiobookReview #cults #kidnapping”

  1. I have read a few books that had cults as background and usually I like them. This one sounds like it might be a bit much for me with some of those triggers. Great review, Bonnie.


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