Leslie's Reviews > fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science

fathermothergod by Lucia Greenhouse
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's review
Nov 16, 2011

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Greenhouse's memoir of her Christian Scientist childhood and her mother's death from cancer at 50 is emotionally charged and very moving. Her increasing disbelief in the tenets of Christian Science is well traced, and her feelings of hopelessness and helplessness in the face of her mother's (and father's) refusal to seek medical help is well portrayed.

But while fathermothergod raises questions about our responsibility for others and respect for religious beliefs, it is only in passing - tantalizing, then disappearing. Greenhouse makes it plain that she feared legal action in addition to experiencing the pain of familial and social condemnation for not "rescuing" her mother from her own beliefs (and possibly her father's refusal to allow her mother to seek traditional medical help). However, these issues are not examined in any larger context.

Perhaps Greenhouse was constrained by her obviously sincere wish not to offend or estrange her family. Either way, fathermothergod is a tribute to Greenhouse's love of her mother and her family.

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