- “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” by Leah Remini
- Celebrity Memoir
- Listened to the audiobook.
- 3/5 stars
- Finished October 14, 2017
The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching thirty-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology.
Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.
That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.
Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.
But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.
Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.
As always, I’m going to break it down totally honest. I really love books about cults. I also, really love Leah Remini’s TV series. I started watching it when I lived off Hollywood Boulevard, literally down the street from the Scientology publishing house. I had to walk past that giant “SCIENTOLOGY” building that you see in all their documentaries to go get my mail, so watching the documentary felt extra spooky when I would lay on my sleeping pad.
When I found out that Remini wrote an memoir about her life and more significantly, her time in Scientology, I knew I had to read it. And when I found out she narrated the audiobook, well of course, I had to do that.
I really like Remini’s narrating style, and I’m finding I really enjoy memoirs that are narrated by the author. It makes the words really come alive, and following Remini’s story, from her abusive father, to her parents divorce and her mother discovering Scientology was very interesting. I was able to place a lot of the stuff she was discussing because of her television show, and it was interesting to dive deeper into her life.
I actually had no idea that she was married, and vaguely remembered her saying she had a daughter, so that dive into her personal life was quite interesting as well. I found the information on Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and the celebrity side of Scientology really intriguing, however none of it really shocked me. Especially after seeing all of the crazy stuff that occurs on Remini’s show. Overall, I enjoyed this book, it was interesting from the perspective of someone who escaped a cult, and I flew through it on audio. If you’re interested in Remini’s life outside of Scientology however, this probably isn’t the book for you.
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- I listened to this book on audiobook. Find it here on libro.fm to support local bookstores.
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