Monday, March 30, 2020

"Girl Meets God: A Memoir" - Lauren F. Winner

It's difficult for me to describe just how much I didn't enjoy reading Lauren F. Winner's "Girl Meets God: A Memoir."

"Girl Meets God" is precisely the type of book I do enjoy. I enjoy reading stories about someone's journey of faith, spirituality or whatever word you wish to use. I enjoy stories of the search and the discovery and the curiosity and the doubt and so much more.

However, for me, "Girl Meets God" comes off as a whiny, entitled young adult with more intellect than common sense and little understanding of the spiritual path that she actually chose. At times, "Girl Meets God" feels more like someone's rebellion against childhood beliefs rather than someone who actually chose a journey of faith and understands what that means.

There's lots of interesting, intelligent material in "Girl Meets God." If you don't understand Judaism, for example, there's a bunch here that you're going to learn. On some level, that could be true for Christianity. However, Christianity here is more paint-by-numbers.

If you're going to call your book a "memoir," then it needs to be a memoir. Winner paints her life story in broad strokes. She speaks in generalizations about the family that has seemingly abandoned her because of her conversion, yet she never really gives us much information about them. Who is Winner? How does she travel all across Europe and the U.S? She does so seemingly at will but never explains her journeys or her Ivy League experiences. She speaks about it all so matter-of-factly and that's where her writing comes off with a sense of entitlement.

At times, I wish someone who works at your local convenience store and who's been robbed three times would write a book about their spiritual journey. That would have substance to it. Winner comes off as a spoiled child who barely gives us a life experience worth mentioning other than one broken relationship and a friend who had an affair.

Who cares?

Ultimately, I didn't care about Winner and I didn't find anything remotely authentic about her journey here. Ego-fueled theological babble does not a memoir make.

I'll take a hard pass on this one.

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