Book Review · Books

Affirming

Sally was raised in a Christian church that adamantly believed being gay was a sin and not what God wants. She was devout in her faith and loved her church. She was raised in a strong Christian home where her parents and grandparents showed and reflected their faith to her through how they lived their lives. The challenge came when she noticed she didn’t like boys in the same way her girl friends did. Instead she got crushes on girls. This quandary bugged Sally because she wanted to the do the right thing. She tried, prayed and begged God to change her desires. Nothing worked. When Sally encounters believers who have a different view of monogamous gay relationships between believers what she has tried to believe is challenged. Follow Sally as she goes on a faith journey to figure out just what exactly God wants.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Affirming by Sally Gary from William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Company care of NetGalley. The views expressed are mine and of my own choice. This memoir I couldn’t put down. Sally is candid and not preachy, but kindly shares her faith throughout. She talks about how not only how her church helped shape who she is, but the impact her family had on her with how they showed love to others through their hospitality. I can relate to Sally when it comes to always having different people coming over for dinner or staying with your family for months at a time when you are growing up. Flexibility and patience is key. I think this is an excellent book to help open up an important discussion within the church. If you have read God And The Gay Christian or Torn, then you’ll want to add Affirming to your Christian LGBTQA library collection.

Book Review · Books

A Mother’s Reckoning

I noticed A Mother’s Reckoning  at Changing Hands bookstore months ago. I’ve wanted to buy it, but held off till one of my good friends was kind and said I could pick out a book for her to buy me. Of course I picked this one! Why do I always gravitate toward the depressing themed books? I love memoirs and something about the subject of this book interested me.

I still remember what I was doing on April 20, 1999. I was going to a community college and heard about the tragedy. Watching the news coverage was intense. There are different books regarding the tragedy. I’ve read Rachel Scott’s journal/story which her dad had published after her passing as well as the book written about Cassie Bernall. Last year I went to see the movie, “I’m Not Ashamed,” inspired by Rachel Scott’s journals and her life before she was killed at Columbine. That movie starts off with real news coverage of the school shooting which made sitting through the movie tough.  If you have PTSD the opener doesn’t help. I don’t have PTSD, but to rewatch the news footage is traumatizing.

This memoir by Dylan’s mother, Sue Klebold is raw, breathtaking, intense, sweet, gut wrenching and powerful. It’s a must read for parents, caregivers, hospitals and schools. It’s not just about what lead up to Columbine, but discusses how things can seem perfectly normal with someone and then they snap. I think Dylan’s mom did a fine job of expressing who Dylan was and seeing how he changed right under his family’s noses without much notice. Sue is one strong woman to endure all she has and still come out fighting to get society educated on suicide. Her involvement in suicide prevention is inspiring and humbling. This is a must read!