Driving By Moonlight: A Journey Through Love, War and Infertility

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When Kristin Henderson's husband, a Lutheran chaplain, ships out with the Marines to Afghanistan after 9/11, Henderson struggles to reconcile her Quaker belief in pacifism with her strong feelings about the smoking rubble in her hometown of Washington, D.C. Together with her German shepherd, Rosie, Henderson sets off in an old Corvette on a cross-country journey through America's byways, exploring a changed country and her own altered emotional landscape. Hoping for answers, Henderson finds peace instead, and ...
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Overview

When Kristin Henderson's husband, a Lutheran chaplain, ships out with the Marines to Afghanistan after 9/11, Henderson struggles to reconcile her Quaker belief in pacifism with her strong feelings about the smoking rubble in her hometown of Washington, D.C. Together with her German shepherd, Rosie, Henderson sets off in an old Corvette on a cross-country journey through America's byways, exploring a changed country and her own altered emotional landscape. Hoping for answers, Henderson finds peace instead, and learns the freedom that comes with letting go.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The events of September 11, 2001, caused many Americans to re-examine their core beliefs. Henderson, a Quaker married to a Marine chaplain (and former Lutheran minister), was already juggling a multitude of contradictory beliefs before the terrorist attacks. This chronicle of a cross-country road trip with her German shepherd, Rosie, in a '78 Corvette, as her husband is shipped off to Afghanistan with the Marines, is less a travelogue than an intimate musing on her inner struggles, a time-out to come to terms with shifting religious beliefs, a complicated marriage and, primarily, her long, painful and unsuccessful attempt to have a baby. As she is a sophisticated and humorous writer, Henderson's initial naivet about politics, religion and life in general is surprising. But this ingenuousness is redeemed by her frank acknowledgment that she hasn't a clue, and by her search for meaning. She whimsically compares her variety of religious experiences to cars (Quakerism is a Pacer; atheism, an MG; born-again Christianity, a custom leisure van; Lutheranism, a Ford sedan). Unlike her Midwestern Quaker cousins, after September 11, with her husband at risk, she becomes impatient with pacifism and excited about American flags. But Henderson slowly evolves to more nuanced views, from thinking of God as an indulgent, wish-fulfilling parent to considering, "maybe all the Light cares about is whether or not I live more fully in the Light...." She eventually finds a difficult and intriguing inner peace, concluding, "The world needs both Quakers and Marines. So does my marriage. And within myself, so do I." Photos. Agent, Sam Stoloff. (Oct. 15) Forecast: Educated Americans struggling with questions about September 11 and the recent American militarism will find this intriguing, as will women with infertility problems. It may not give answers, but it will provoke questions about war, pacifism, the desire for children and the "right" to procreate. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When her Marine chaplain husband shipped off to Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, Henderson found herself alone with conflicting thoughts about pacifism and her pain over not becoming pregnant. So she embarked on a cross-country road trip with her German shepherd, Rosie, in her '78 Corvette to ponder religion, politics, and life in general. Raised a politically liberal Quaker, she had experimented with atheism and born-again Christianity before marrying her former Lutheran minister husband. Then she caused a serious rift in the marriage when she suggested doubt about Christ's divinity. The delicate narrative recounts her various adventures on the road-for example, her being stranded in the Rockies during an early snowstorm-but focuses primarily on her emotional journey to a more mature understanding of God and her inability to have children. She even finds an appreciation for the outburst of patriotism and flag waving throughout the country. A humorous and astute writer, Henderson skillfully weaves past events, her email correspondence with her husband, and the day-to-day details of her trip into an evocative story. Recommended for large public libraries.-Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580050982
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/10/2003
  • Pages: 309
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

Shipping Out 1
If Religions Were Cars 15
The Father He Hated 33
The Illusion of Control 53
Friendly Ways 69
Bathrooms and Life's Other Unnecessary Layers 95
Finding God in a Snowstorm 115
Semper Gumby 131
In a Blink I'll Be Gone 145
This Road Sucks 163
Jesus Likes Me 189
A Roll of the Dice 209
Howdy, Neighbor 225
Alien Nation 245
Death and Texas 259
Psychic Powers 271
The Road to Dog Zen 279
Joy Ride 297
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2003

    One of the best books I read all year!

    The first time I read something written by Kristin was in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine almost a year ago. I was drawn in by the subject matter and stayed because I really liked how and what she wrote. Since then I¿ve become a huge fan, even going so far as to send my father-in-law to one of her readings for an autographed copy of this book. I knew a bit about Kristen¿s personal history from her article in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine about her chaplain husband (available on her website at www.kristinhenderson.com) and this book tells us even more. I loved this book! Kristin takes (what I think are) enormous risks ¿ opening up and telling the world about her relationships with her family, her struggles with infertility, Rosie and the Vette. Do yourself a favor and get then read this book! And get a copy for someone you love.

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    Posted February 14, 2010

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