K's Reviews > Girl Meets God

Girl Meets God by Lauren F. Winner
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Apr 13, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: memoirs, spiritualityreligion, situation-not-a-story

I was expecting more from this memoir. Lauren Winner, daughter of a lapsed Baptist mother but raised as a Reform Jew in accordance with her Jewish father's wishes, found herself increasingly drawn to Orthodox Judaism as an adolescent. After undergoing an Orthodox Jewish conversion in college, Lauren gradually drifted from Orthodoxy into Christianity, converting to Episcopalianism. I found Lauren's trajectory intriguing and appreciated her writing voice but didn't particularly enjoy her memoir, which ended up being a loose collection of ruminations on aspects of Christian theology sprinkled with occasional reminisces about her earlier Jewish life and her ambivalence about some of the practices and beliefs she abandoned. I never got a clear sense of her actual journey and the accompanying thoughts and feelings; she alluded to people and incidents here and there, but I felt she never fully addressed the overall process.

Her memoir did raise some questions for me, though, about people who make dramatic lifestyle changes in the name of seeking spirituality, only to become disillusioned and then make more dramatic lifestyle changes. What is that about? Is this a symptom of chronic dissatisfaction and psychological instability, or are people like this merely deeper than the rest of us and therefore, unable to fit into a mold, try though they might? One goodreads reviewer claimed that Lauren's subsequent books suggest that she eventually became disillusioned with Christianity as well, which, if accurate, further begs this question.

Lauren also raised the interesting question of whether she would have been drawn to Christianity had she ended up marrying one of her Orthodox Jewish ex-boyfriends. I wondered that as well, especially since Lauren seemed particularly vulnerable to falling intensely in love with various men who later proved to be the wrong ones. Was there any connection between that tendency and her spiritual ups and downs?

I found questions like this interesting to ponder, and I give the memoir credit for raising them. Overall, though, not a particularly enjoyable read for me.
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Reading Progress

04/13/2009 page 102
31.87% "Jeez..."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by M (new) - rated it 3 stars

M oh hey i read that! did we ever discuss it?


message 2: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Ever since your review, I've been wanting to read it. I finally got ahold of it now. So far, I'm ambivalent. I voted for two reviews which, I felt, captured a lot of my criticisms although it's certainly readable. Looking forward to discussing when I'm done!


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