Author: Lauren Winner
Title: Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
Description: I’ve followed Lauren Winner for at least eight years now, first in her account of her conversion, Girl Meets God, through her struggle with remaining chaste as a single Christian and as she gradually got to know the man she would eventually marry in Real Sex. So I was sad to see that this book is a result of her divorce, five years later. Not quite a memoir, the book is composed of the short essays that Lauren does so well.
Writing style: The best word to describe it is “spare.” Lauren writes that she tries to leave spaces in her writing as a result of her reading poetry, and I would say that is a pretty good way to describe the book. The essays range from about a half a page to several pages in length—not as long as in Girl Meets God.
Audience: Readers of spiritual memoir; those struggling with their faith after a difficult time, especially divorce.
Major ideas: Lauren’s divorce and the death of her mother precipitate a crisis of faith. The book is divided into three sections, tracing the feelings of God’s absence and the very gradual return of something that could be normalcy and renewed relationship with God.
Wrap-up: Lauren Winner remains one of my very favorite authors, and I couldn’t read this book without feeling sad for her in a very personal way. Her meditations on faith—or here, sometimes, the lack of it—are always insightful and memorable. The joy of Girl Meets God is absent here, but I hope she’ll return to it in time. 5/5*