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Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Spiritual Memoir

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A woman's coming-of-age journey through the rugged landscape of Wales to the reflective quiet of a retreat center. Along the way she questions and explores the depth of her Methodist faith as she comes to terms with her bisexual identity. ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Skinner House Books
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  78 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Speaks to the Soul

The language of the soul is tricky to translate, and yet this memoir speaks eloquently, honestly, and with grace. I feel blessed to have read it. We are all on a journey, one that will last a lifetime, and I recommend this to any and all who would like the voice of another traveler to share her insights. This journey is both horrible and heroic, depressing and uplifting, complex and simple. Elizabeth has a remarkable story and I'm so glad she wrote it and has shared it. Thank y
Beautiful spiritual memoir that documents a woman accepting her bisexuality. A must-read for people who are bisexual, spiritual, female, or breathing.
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Every now and then it's good to read something real, something raw, that is full of revelation and change. The author held my hand and said, "you can do anything, let me show you how it's done." And when I thought there couldn't possibly be more to love here, I turned the page and together we walked through another door. I adored this and can't wait to dig into her other books. ...more
Jan 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me want to go on long bike rides, to write more, and to love with wild abandon. Elizabeth Andrew writes about a journey in which her discovery of her sexual orientation and deepening understanding of her spirituality are inseparable. Thanks, Lisa!
Jill Cicero
Aug 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
beautiful prose. i love it when an author's use of language makes me slow down and savor their words. ...more
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Honest well-written memoir of Andrew's struggle around her sexuality. She uses The Secret Garden as an illuminating structure. ...more
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
I felt like this book was a constant prayer unfolding...beautifully written.
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this memoir. It is such a tender exploration told in poetic language and brought me to tears. I could feel her longing to know and live her true self.
Lory Widmer Hess
Reviews and more on my blog: Entering the Enchanted Castle

This was a brave, honest, and beautifully written memoir about a young woman's spiritual journey toward self-acceptance -- represented by accepting an alternative sexuality not generally approved of in Christian circles. What shone through to me was how important it is to love the world and all the gifts it brings to us, and not to close ourselves off from possibilities of love, through fear of hurt or criticism or rejection.
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Spiritual Memoir -- Elizabeth J. Andrew (13 stories)

I wasn't sure what I was exactly expecting when I picked this book up. But the outcome wasn’t what I thought it would be about. I suppose the best way to describe these stories is that they feel like stream of consciousness writings. I was looking forward to reading this because I thought it was going to be about a lesbian's spiritual journey. It turned out to be about a bisexual woman's spiritual journey, so t
Mariah McKenzie
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a sweet true story by the author of "Writing the Sacred Journey" where she shows us how to share our most challenging truths (in her case her bisexual identity) while leaving us feeling the fragrance of love for all parts of our lives, even those that don’t perfectly match up with our truth. ...more
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a bi Christian coming out story. A lot of the story resonated with me -- very much a path that many of us have walked when reconciling our faith and sexuality but from a bi perspective. There really isn't much out there from that point of view so it's good to see a reconciling book that does address the specifics of a bi person's walk. In general this comes from a more mainline perspective. I was a little put off by the part on the path where she runs away but this still has a lot of goo ...more
Donna J Corboy
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slow but steady on life's path

It took a little bit of reading for this story to grab me; once she got into the actual details of her life I was hooked. Everyone has their own personal "coming out" story to share. Although I can't personally relate to hers on every detail, I can relate to the curve balls that life tossed her way. We all handle these things differently, but one thing is certain, those curves life throws us play a big part in shaping our souls. Ms Andrew was very gracious to share
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Elizabeth Andrew
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: memoir
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As a writer, I'm passionate about creating stories that nourish the soul. I love exploring how faith functions, both inside and outside of religious traditions, and depicting the

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