Stefanie's Reviews > Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church

Radical Reinvention by Kaya Oakes
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's review
Jul 01, 2012

it was amazing
Read from June 20 to 30, 2012

A heartbreaking work of heartfelt, hilarious, feminist, inclusionary genius. Full disclosure: Kaya is my friend, and I even make a very brief appearance (under a different name) in the book. But here's some even fuller disclosure: I'm a black-hearted little agnostic punk, totally comfortable with my rejection of my own childhood faith (conservative Judaism), yet still I was moved and inspired by Radical Reinvention. Its primary message isn't actually about Catholicism, Christianity, or, really, religion. It's a must-read for anyone who has ever yearned for belonging and strength and purpose, despite being, well, a black-hearted little punk. If you're a cynic or a progressive or a feminist or any combination of the three, and you've ever wondered how "otherwise sensible people" can get mixed up with a Judeo-Christian God and/or with organized religion, Radical Reinvention will clear up the mystery with heart and humor and brave honesty and LOTS of swearing. It made me want to hang out with nuns and be a better person; and it made me realize that self-acceptance and finding a tribe are both crucial, and should be pursued relentlessly, and, if need be, in all the "wrong" places. Oh, and Kaya's trip to Italy is a whole lot more meaningful than Elizabeth Gilbert's.
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