I loved this memoir. I've never read a memoir before so I wasn't exactly certain what to expect. I was so pleasantly surprised, The power and passion behind Emily T. Wierenga's prodigal story is profound and absolutely amazing. Her raw honesty touched my heart in so many ways. It was a book of aching tears, anger, sweet smiles and quiet reflection - and I felt every one of those on every single page!
What I loved most about Emily's book was her writing. Her brutally honest assessment bled into each chapter with each word she chose. It's poetic flavour and heart-gripping prose left me speechless at times. In her own words, Emily says: "That's life and faith too. Messy, blurred and beautiful." And her words truly were beautiful and open and authentic as she laid bare her heart and her life with her readers.
The next thing I loved about her book was the actual story. Her life has been colourful and vibrant at times and seared with pain and loss at others. Her journey closer to the heart of God demonstrated on each page so beautifully depicts the brokenness and redemption tension we all live in. The story of her childhood eating disorder and family angst married into her mother's great loss physically and emotionally was poignant and bittersweet. Yet with the sweetest of endings that only God could author.
One last thing I loved about the book were the quotes. Each chapter began with a quote. I wrote many of them down in my journal alongside some new ones I love too by Emily.
The only downfall I encountered in reading the book was the bouncing timeline. Each chapter tells a story starting with the location and the date. This was helpful at first. But the chapters do not tell a linear story. And soon I began turning back and forth to discover if this next segment happened before or after that segment. However, in hindsight I discovered a couple of things. First, that the way and format she tells her story is truly compelling and interactive - indicative of how our lives are so interwoven through people and time. After awhile I choose to ignore the dates and just fall into the story as Emily chose to unfold it. This helped greatly. Secondly, (and I didn't find this till I turned the last page) there is a proper, consecutive timeline printed on the last pages. A great thing to include - only wished I'd seen it earlier.
Overall, I've been so profoundly impacted by Emily's story and her faith in love and in His love. I received my copy of her book for free but have already ordered a few copies to use for friends and family that I know will love her story.
Without any hesitation I recommend this book to anyone. Especially those who have wandered aimlessly in their journey with God. Whether you had (or have) an eating disorder, a debilitating illness in your family or a twisted and convoluted view of religion doesn't matter. This book goes so much deeper than the events into the heart of what God truly wants for us. Emily quotes many times throughout her book the whisper from God that I'm certain changed her life.
Watch Me take care of you.
And who of us doesn't want to see the Hand of God in our lives?
Thank you to Emily Wierenga and to Nuts About Books Blogger program and Baker Books for the opportunity to review this amazing book. I received the book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
Atlas Girl is a beautifully written, spell binding book about travel, and cancer, and about anorexia... But mostly it's about relationships. Emily Wierenga tells the story of the major relationships in her life- her parents, her husband, and her God. She uses her story to remind us all that we need to be seen, we need to be accepted, and we need to be loved. She promises that when all others fail, God is there. While the memoir is painful at times it is always full of hope. I couldn't put it down.
Emily T. Wierenga in her new book, "Atlas Girl" published by Baker Books gives us Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look.
From the back cover: Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning.
Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents' rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else-anywhere else. Her travels took her across three continents in buses, cars, and planes, across mountains and over deep blue seas.
What she hadn't realized was that her faith was waiting for her the whole time-in the place she least expected it.
Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a deeply personal story of the yearning we all share to be truly known, entirely forgiven, and utterly loved.
The expression is the grass is greener on the other side. Ms. Wierenga seems to have believed that and the first chance she had to bolt from home she did, going off in search of what she believed was missing from her home life. This is her story, her memoir, captured in all the gritty detail. What she was feeling, what she saw, how it affected her. This is truth and emotion splashed out on to the pages for us to read and reflect on them. "Atlas Girl" is quite a story. Stories like this do not come along too often and I appreciate that Ms. Wierenga has given us her story to read and enjoy. She has done an outstanding job! There is a lot in this book, much to think about and it just interesting and exciting as well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
You ever wonder where God is in a time where you feel He is no where? Well Emily is doing just that in her life she is searching for God in her own way. She travels all over Central America, United States, Asia, Middle East, Australia and Canada. She finds it where she least expects it. A story of trying to find love and forgiveness. A point in her life she almost dies. Emily went through a lot from the beginning of her life even into adult hood. My heart went out to her from her Nanny's death and then her mom having cancer.. She has been through a lot in her life. Think she just needs to find what her purpose in life is. Will Emily find her place in life? I really liked the story. Liked Emily's character. Was a book I needed to keep the tissues by be. If you like memoirs you will like this story.
I was given this book by the publisher for my own honest review.
I really enjoyed this memoir, it is so beautifully written. Emily bares her heart and soul within the pages of this book.
This book does jump back and forth a lot between years but each chapter is clearly labeled with the year so I easily make the switch in my brain so I didn't become lost.
Will this book appeal to everyone? Probably not. But if you are someone who has tried to find your belonging by running away from home, or your family, or even God, then this is a book I believe you will connect with and will touch your heart.
I love reading how God draws His children to Himself. My heart broke as I read about Emily's mom suffering with cancer and Emily's tender care of her.
If this book sounds interesting to you I enjoy you to grab a copy and give it a read.
A copy of this book was given to me by Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review.