Friday, July 4, 2014

Out of the way Read...

I hate writing reviews before I've finished the book.  But, this time, well...I'm running out of time.  So, I'm writing this book review with the caveat that I haven't finished it yet.

I've shared before that sometimes I pick up books and think they'll be interesting, but then just can't seem to get motivated to read them.  That's the case with this book.  It sat on my desk for several weeks without me opening it.  My daughter happened to pick it up, though, which started an interesting conversation...

Mommy, what's Anorexia?
Hmm... Hmmm!  Well, sweetie, that's when people choose not to eat.
Why?  Do they not have food to eat?
No.  They have food.
You mean--they diet?
Yes, they diet.  But, they choose not to eat.
They starve themselves?
Yes, they do, sweetie.
The conversation went a little longer as I tried to explain in 10 year old terms why.

My daughter, my sweet daughter who talks to me about everything, was connecting the dots in her head between the Dr.Oz tv show we saw that was discussing ways to diet when she got stitches on her toe at Urgent Care 6 weeks ago and the idea of anorexia.

Ironically, the woman who's memoir I was reading began starving herself when she was 9 years old.  She was younger than my oldest daughter when she began choosing not to eat.

The book I'm reading is titled Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look by Emily T. Wiernega.  This book is Ms. Wiernega's memoir about her struggle to find love and accept that love.  It
tells the story of her relationship with her parents, husband, and family.  I'm about 3/4 through the book.  Interspersed throughout the book, I've found thought provoking nuggets that have made me think.  I am curious about how the author will draw the book together.  The story is supposed to be about the author finding her home and love, but it is a very complicated memoir with many themes.

I have to admit that this book has been quite difficult for me to read at times.  My mom is sick and the author of this story goes back and for between different times in her life and her time caring for her mom as the brain cancer overtook her body.  At other times, the story has simply touched my heart.  There's one story she shares of the conversation she has with her mother in which her mom shares that she's been praying for her.  She felt and understood the depth of God's love for her through her mother's love.  This encouraged me.  I love my kids so deeply and I want them to always know that through the good and the bad times--through the things I say right and the things I say wrong.

What is this book?  A Christian memoir?  No, not really.  A secular memoir?  Again, not really, but closer.  Because of some of the scenes the author shares, I wouldn't call this a "Christian" memoir in the way many people think.  Instead, I'd call it a secular memoir written by a Christian.  Does the author talk about God?  Yes.  But, the tone and subject matter often crosses lines that I think many conservative Christians would be uncomfortable with.  One example is that she describes her wedding night with her husband.  In terms of her journey through anorexia, this is significant.  But, it's almost too much information.

This book isn't one of those that you'll agree with all of the author's opinions, but I suspect that it may cause you to reflect.  Reading about someone else's life can often help us grapple with our own (according to Leland Ryken).  I agree with that.  I think this is the book I've been supposed to read right now and I keep pressing on.

If you enjoyed Resurrection in May by Lisa Samson, or Notes from a Tilt a Whirl by ND Wilson, or Secrets of an Unlikely Convert... then you would like this one, I think.  This book doesn't fit a mold.  I'm glad it doesn't.

If you're looking for some unusual summer reading, I'd read the preview of this one on Amazon (HERE) and see if you think you'd enjoy reading it.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell Books.

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