The Wonderful and Terrible Kentucky Samaritan

New book takes a long hard look at fanaticism, mental instability, and child abuse

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

WEST JEFFERSON, N.C., Aug. 20, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Twenty-five years ago, Ninety Brothers and Sisters by Lenore De Pree was published by Harper & Row with the promise of a twenty-one gun salute, a write-up in the New York Times, and a possible movie deal. Three months later the book was dead. De Pree was stunned. It had taken her twenty years to heal enough to tell what had happened in Kentucky-the innocence, the dreams, the horror, and her survival-and now she was receiving veiled warnings from people in power that this book should never have been published. Why? Over the years, the author was troubled by the fact that the story she had written as a cautionary tale was still waiting to be read. Finally, she decided to reissue the book.

At once heartwarming and shocking, the book is a true life account of religious fanaticism, child abuse, and one man's psychosis. In the 1930s, De Pree's parents left Chicago for the Appalachian region of Kentucky to do mission work among the mountain people, bringing her and everything they owned. They began evangelizing the mountain folk, taking care of the sick, holding services in county schools, and taking in orphans. As word of the project spread, other people came to help until it grew into a large religious community with its own school system. With beautiful buildings, gardens, adorable singing children, and an idyllic setting, few caught the dark undertones of the leader's mind. In his confused brain, John Vogel was using ordinary religious phrases such as "giving one's life to God" and subverting innocent children to his abuse. Finally, realizing her father's disturbed mental state, De Pree ran away and tried to save her mother and the children from further harm.

Through the unsparing eyes of De Pree, readers see the distorted world of fanaticism. A devastating tale of tragedy and redemption, faith, love, and survival, Ninety Brothers and Sisters is an unforgettable human drama that will challenge the reader's view of traditional beliefs and the power of religious leaders.

About the Author

A lifetime of rich experiences gives Lenore De Pree's writing its unique texture and depth. Born in Chicago, raised in the Appalachian Mountain region of Kentucky where this story takes place, and spending twenty years in Hong Kong and ten years in Saudi Arabia with her husband, Gordon, Lenore has looked deep into human nature, culture, and the many definitions of love. As parents of four children and grandparents of five, the De Prees now live in the mountains of North Carolina where Lenore works as an artist in their home/studio.

           Ninety Brothers and Sisters * By Lenore De Pree
  Trade Paperback; $22.99; 325 pages; 1-4134-2902-5 * Cloth Hardback;
                  $32.99; 325 pages; 1-4134-2903-3

To request a complimentary paperback review copy, contact the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 477. Tearsheets may be sent by regular or electronic mail to Donna Padillo. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (215) 599-0114.

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