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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers
Embracing this book was a Discover first -- rarely does a book from the religion section find its way into our selections. But Lauren Winner's spiritual odyssey is so compellingly unique, her story so winsomely honest yet deeply intellectual, we had to rave about it.
After making a radical commitment to embrace Orthodox Judaism as a teenager, the unconventional Winner began to sense "Jesus calling" her. A graduate student with a deeply probing mind, she went in search of the truth, choosing to explore Christianity from a rational rather than a purely spiritual viewpoint. Reading contemporary southern fiction, she noted that many of the characters were Protestant, taking for granted an alien vocabulary including words like "grace," "saved," and "sin." Winner's interest in Christianity intensified after a dream in which she recognized Jesus; and after encountering the popular Mitford series, in which the characters were, "ordinary Christians working out ordinary faith in their ordinary lives," she realized that she wanted what they had. To get it, she dove headfirst into a profoundly personal pilgrimage, which she reveals with valuable insight, humor, and pathos.
Her struggle toward faith, and her refusal to avoid conflict, imbues Winner's memoir with universal relevance for seekers of every ilk. As she reaches an increased understanding of the power of faith, she creates for herself supportive and caring communities in both the Episcopal and Jewish traditions and begins to overcome jealousy, loneliness, and frustration. For she recognizes the gift and badge of true Christian discipleship (not orthodoxy but love) and ultimately realizes that a true spiritual pilgrimage is a lifetime occupation. Fall 2002 Selection