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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 10/100: Unraveling - Hanging Onto Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage by Elisabeth Klein Corcoran

Unraveling: Hanging On to Faith Through the End of a Christian Marriage - Elisabeth K. Corcoran

This is one of the books I decided to read for my Year in Reading Suggestions February challenge: to read a book from a blog.


I read about this book on my friend Jenny's blog and picked it up hoping it was a memoir. Not that I'm the sort of person who's drawn to all the lurid details of other people's lives (or maybe I am), but because I am interested in stories of how people resolve their faith lives in the face of challenging personal circumstances. This book is not really a memoir -- instead, it's more of a self-help book for Christian women who are divorced, separated, or in difficult marriages, centered around something like the author's own journal of her process.


Even though I'm fortunate not to personally be in the midst of an unhappy or ending/ended marriage, I think anyone who is living through a time of darkness and grieving that makes them question their faith would find this book helpful. I did feel uncomfortable by how often the reader was addressed directly as "you" and assumed to be going through divorce -- it made me feel like I was reading something illicit, or superstitious about attracting that kind of energy. And the reference to the reader as "dear ones" or "sweet ones" felt sort of patronizing. And although its particular brand of Christianity is a little more contained than my own, Elisabeth Corcoran isn't afraid to ask the really hard questions:

"People who love Jesus and are trying to follow him with pure hearts get cancer and die, go to Iraq and die, have car accidents and die."

The writing itself is fantastic -- compassionate, accessible, clean, and spare without sacrificing emotional resonance. It's really a great book and a great resource, which is why I can't fault it for not being exactly what I wanted.