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Returning: A Spiritual Journey

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Dan Wakefield was a successful writer of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays when he awoke to a private life that was disintegrating in alcohol, depression, and isolation. He fled Hollywood for Boston where he reclaimed a faith he had thought he was too sophisticated to embrace. In this moving memoir, Wakefield returns to his religious roots and his early life: his Indiana ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 30th 1997 by Beacon Press (first published 1988)
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Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely, thoughtful spiritual memoir--essentially a look through the author's life and noticing the ways God was there, guiding him in moments he didn't realize.

I'm reading as part of my project to read 1988 books throughout 2018 (@1988is2018 on Twitter), so I'd like to have a clever comment here about how this fits with the times or something. But if anything, it *doesn't* seem to fit with the emergence of the Moral Majority and other Christian movements I associate with the 80s; instead,
Richard Propes
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I wish I had more to say about "Returning: A Spiritual Journey" than I do, but it's more a book I respected and appreciated than I actually enjoyed and immersed myself in. As a fairly new member of a local Unitarian-Universalist congregation, I have found myself exploring the world of UU writing and, not surprisingly, Wakefield popped up. Being that I'm also from Indy, I took the chance to read this book that vividly recounts Wakefield's return to church later in life after many years of ...more
Tom Santopietro
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating meditation on the meaning of faith that grew out of Wakefield's New York Times Magazine article "Returning to Church." Wakefield's first two sentences grab hold instantly: "One balmy spring morning in Hollywood, a month or so before my forty-eighth birthday, I woke up screaming. I got out of bed, went into the next room, sat down on a couch, and screamed again." A painfully honest chronicle of Wakefield's spiritual journey as well as his secular life, "Returning" explores ...more
Daniel Petersen
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
This was one of my very favourite reads until the last third where Wakefield’s Unitarian view took centre stage and watered the work down a bit. That portion was not only philosophically disagreeable to me, but also rather boring in that wishy-washy do-gooding liberal vicar sort of way. This religious pluralism seemed contradictory to Wakefield’s earlier narration of personally experiencing what he claimed was the actual presence of the New Testament Christ in the world today.

Still, the writing
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes non-fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Dan Wakefield was a successful writer of novels, non-fiction, and screenplays when he awoke to a private life that was disintegrating around him due to alcohol, depression, and isolation. On a balmy spring morning in Hollywood, a month or so before his forty-eighth birthday, Dan Wakefield woke up literally screaming. His private life had been crumbling for years and alcohol barely numbed the pain.

Those horrifying morning screams drove him back to Boston, his former home, where he changed his
Christy Tidwell
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Very Personal religious journey. Read in anticipation of spending an evening with the author. Very interesting.
Jon Stout
Aug 09, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: the earnest
Shelves: religion
Confusing (to me) connection between recovery from alcoholism and his growing Christianity.
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