We’re reading this in Bookish Catholics (our local Catholic women’s bookclub):
I’m giving this book away. Two actually. Because, y’all!! Oh my goodness.
From the back cover:
“When Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith met in a creative writing class in graduate school, they both confessed to writing about God. They bonded one night while reading the Book of Ruth and came to truly understand the unlikely friendship of Ruth and Naomi. In these two Old Testament women, they witnessed a beautiful spiritual friendship and a way of walking with one another toward God.
But how could they travel this path together when they would be separated by distance and time and leading busy lives as they established marriages and careers? They decided to write letters to each other–at first, for each day of Lent, but those days extended into years. Their letters became a memoir in real time and reveal deeply personal and profound accounts of conversion, motherhood, and crushing tragedy; through it all, their faith and friendship sustained them.
Told through the timeless medium of letters–in prose that is raw and intimate, humorous and poetic–Love & Salt is at its core the emotional struggle of how one spiritual friendship is formed and tested in tragedy, tempered and proven in hope.”
Sometimes I wonder if I should be reading this – it’s almost like peeking into someone’s diary. I’ll come across a passage and think, “does she really want me reading this?! Did she really just publish that for all the world to see?”. It’s incredibly intimate – in a soul-searching, God-seeking way. These two ladies share the depth of their hearts with us – all the little things, from their childhood, their relationships, their sufferings to their prayer. And once again, as I’ve encountered only a few times before (in Tim Farrington’s Lizzie’s War and Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Illych) I find myself amazed that someone else has had the EXACT same thoughts as I have. And were able to put them into words. I find myself reading, and then stopping to stare at the ceiling. “Yes!!”
Here’s a bit from Amy: “Did I ever tell you I went through an Ayn Rand phase in college (and along with it a try at atheism)? It all seems so silly now, but back then I was quite enamored. I eve tried to dress the part. I still have a shot of me in a black, jaunty had with a dramatic feather curling up, long lace loves, and a short, tight black dress. I don’t recall why I thought this would be an appropriate costume for a gorgeous, hopelessly rational and unbelievably intelligent “objectivist woman” (the odd name for Rand’s followers), but there I was suited up and trying as hard as I could to be devastating on all fronts. But despite all the fervent debates and the arguments I finally assented to, I would still lie in bed at night, and when my mind calmed, there it was, my belief in God, as undeniable as daylight. This was the first time I realized there were certain things true of my mind that were not under my conscious control, that I could be misled to my actual nature.”
And from Jess: “I spent the next ten years wandering, homeless in every sense of the word. I lived on friends’ sofas, in my car, and with my grandmother, when we could stand each other. And I wandered in and out of churches of all kinds. But when my homesickness became unbearable, I always went back to Our Lady of Lourdes, to lie in the lacquered pew and smell the burned wicks of the candles in the cry room. Something about those candles, each flickering light a plea to heaven, brought the surety of childhood faith back to me.”
When you start reading this book (as you surely should, whether you win a copy or not) you will need a pencil.
Because you will be underlining the. heck. out. of. this. book. In the end, it won’t do you much good, because you will have underlined so much. But the underlining will make you feel gooood. Like some kind of participant in their journey. Trust me. It’s our collective “Preach it, sister!” – cheering Amy and Jess along.
Here’s how to enter the giveaway for an copy of Love & Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters
- Leave a comment below before 5 PM on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
- Be sure that you like my Facebook page, if you tweet, follow me on Twitter here or here, and subscribe to my blog feed via email.
- Winners will be announced later that evening. One entry per person, please.
- You must have a valid email address, which I promise not to use for anything other than this giveaway.
- Tell all your friends!