I accidentally double booked tours today! If you are here for the Thoughts Without Cigarettes post, check back later this afternoon. I want to spread out the posts to give them both the attention they deserve.
I love memoirs. I believe that every person has a story to tell, the only question is if you can tell it well. I don’t hold much to the idea that a memoir should only be for someone who has had a truly remarkable life. Honestly, I believe any life is interesting. I know that there are plenty of people out there who disagree with this, but I have an insatiable curiosity for other perspectives and other people’s lives.
Breaking Up With God is the kind of religious memoir that I was hoping The View From the Back Pew would be. Originally very faithful, to the point of attending seminary school, Sentilles eventually cannot square the God she grew up with, a decidedly man-in-the-sky who punishes and rewards image, with the feminist perspective she has gained in seminary school.
Sentilles covers a lot of ground here, laying her entire life out on the table for us to see. It almost reads like a confession sometimes, with Sentilles revealing that she had anorexia and an abusive relationship before she left college. Later she goes on to talk about becoming a feminist and also a vegetarian, a supporter of gay marriage and a social activist.
I think Sentilles’s story is interesting and worth hearing. Her journey from a religious scholar to completely unsure in her beliefs is something that I relate to. So the question remains: how well is Sentilles’s story told? As I said, it’s confessional in nature, almost like an internal monologue, which ultimately makes sense. She is sharing an incredibly personal journey with us, but one that she had made a career of making public. In a way, Sentilles is accomplishing exactly what she went to seminary school to do, to minister, though admittedly a significantly different type of preaching than she imagined.
At times I thought the narration to be a little disorganized, and if I’m honest, sometimes melodramatic. But at the same time, much of this story takes place when Sentilles is a teenager and young adult. She reflects that age very well, where every decision you make seems like the most difficult and you’re never sure of yourself, even if it is frustrating to read sometimes.
Overall, I enjoyed this memoir. I learned about theology and at the same time got to see the transition and journey that Sentilles makes. I think that’s a successful memoir, even if the writing is not perfect and at times it drifts into melodrama.
So go read this!: now | tomorrow | next week | next month | next year | when you’ve read everything else
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for sending me this book to read and review! For more information about the tour, please go to this link.