What Draws Ordinary People Into Cults? | Review: Beautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth Woollett

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One of my most anticipated releases of 2019! How did it hold up? Did it meet my expectations? Continue reading to find out.


The thrilling new novel inspired by Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple from the author of The Love of a Bad Man.

Following her conscientious-objector husband Lenny to the rural Eden of Evergreen Valley, California, Evelyn wants to be happy with their new life. Yet as the world is rocked by warfare and political assassinations, by racial discrimination and social upheaval, she finds herself disillusioned with Lenny’s passive ways — and anxious for a saviour.

Enter the Reverend Jim Jones, the dynamic leader of a revolutionary church called Peoples Temple. As Evelyn grows closer to Jones, her marriage is just the first casualty of his rise to power.

Meticulously researched, elegantly written, and utterly engrossing, Beautiful Revolutionary explores the allure of the real-life charismatic leader who would destroy so many. In masterful prose, Woollett painstakingly examines what happens when Evelyn is pulled into Jones' orbit — an orbit it would prove impossible for her to leave.

Beautiful Revolutionary by Laura Elizabeth Woollett 
Rating: ★★★★☆
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 

This was such a good read. From the time I read the synopsis, I longed to read Beautiful Revolutionary. Based on said synopsis, I gathered that it might serve up some serious The Girls by Emma Cline vibes and that is one of my favourite novels of all time. Plus, I can never say no to any literary release that tackles cults--fictional and non-fictional, there's something about the psychological aspects that will forever intrigue me.

Beautiful Revolutionary captures both fiction and reality in a way that is stunning. Laura Elizabeth Woollett's prose is gorgeous and captivates us from the very start. It is the very definition of impossible to put down and will keep the wheels of your mind turning. I felt almost breathless by the time the story ends.

Because Beautiful Revolutionary tackles a very real subject matter, and a very real cult, it had a lot to live up to. There are many ways to write such a novel, and Laura Elizabeth Woollett is one of the few who can. To capture a cult from all angles is a difficult task, but Beautiful Revolutionary never holds back in its portrayal. Laura Elizabeth Woollett doesn't rely on sensationalizing things, instead fills in the blanks with accuracy.

I've always wondered what it is about cults, and cult leaders, that can completely compel and brainwash so many ordinary people. It's hard to imagine it happening to you. This is one of those cases that seems extraordinarily far-fetched to us on first glance. But, it's not. There's something so utterly terrifying that sometimes, something as simple as someone with a massive hero complex and skill of manipulation can completely consume others.

There are so many horrifying element to the story of Jim Jones and The Peoples Temple and there's really no way around it. This doesn't shy away from the story. So, it goes without saying that this novel will not be for everyone, but if you have even slightly touched base on this particular cult (and that massacre) this novel will surely interest you. 

If you've ever found yourself interested in the psychology of what attracts ordinary people into the inner workings of a cult, Beautiful Revolutionary is for you.

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