Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Book Review: Faith and Other Flat Tires
I have another Thomas Nelson Publishers book review for you today and I think this is one of my favorites to date of all the Nelson books I have reviewed. The title of the book is Faith and Other Flat Tires and it was written by Andrea Palpant Dilley. As soon as I received the email from Nelson with the name and description of the book, I responded with a big, "Yes, please include me!" Sadly, in my excitement to read about the subject, I apparently neglected to request a giveaway copy which is unfortunate because I would love for someone to win this one.
The subtitle or catch phrase or what have you of the book is "Searching for God on the rough road of doubt" and I don't know about you, but there have been many times in life when I've had doubt in my life about God and my Christianity. I think this is part of the search for finding truth and I was so glad to see that someone had put down into words their journey and as it turns out, it was a journey that I could relate to with almost every turn of the page.
Mrs. Dilley's story is her own, a memoir of her youth as the child of a missionary, her teen and college years as she struggled internally with her faith and grew increasingly frustrated with a lack of answers, her 20s when she eventually left church and then her late 20s when she returned. She basically takes readers along on her journey to discover what being a Christian is and finding out what faith means to her.
I don't know Mrs. Dilley's age, but if I had to guess she is probably about the same age as me which I have no doubt is part of why I found her personal journey so relateable. No doubt many of the ways she rebelled and acted out were the exact ways I rebelled and acted out at the same age, and while I may not have verbally asked the questions she was asking (nor did I have a menage a trois like she did, just wanted to clear that up for those of you who may read the book), I was in fact asking many of the same questions in my heart and at times wondering what was the point of all of this. I think this is just part of passage into adulthood. No one ever tells you about the transition from dependent to independent and when you add to that questions about God and faith and Christianity, well, sometimes it can feel like your whole world has been turned upside down. I feel like every Christian has at some point in their life questioned God, the existence of God, why do bad things happen to good people, etc. It's just part of coming to terms with the fact that we believe in a God that we can neither touch or see.
I really enjoyed the book from start to finish. Although Mrs. Dilley is of a different faith than me, I was still able to follow her story as if it were my own. She never gets finite answers to her questions about faith and God, but she comes to an understanding that she can live with and I think that's something we are probably all searching for - an understanding. I did find the end of the book to be a little disappointing. I guess I expected it to end where her life is now, saying something like, after I went through all of this doubt in my youth, this is where I am now. It was more of an open end for me which I didn't care for because it left me wondering, well, 10 years later, what are your thoughts? At times I felt like the stories were kind of thrown in without much purpose and that felt odd as well.
Overall it was a good book and I'm not sure my little review here does it justice. I suppose the thing I liked most about the book was that someone put on paper the doubts and fears that a lot of us have but may feel is taboo to talk about. If you are looking for a book about struggling with faith, this one would be a good choice. The folks at Nelson sent me a sample chapter to share with you all, but once again I cannot figure out how to link a PDF file. I'm thinking it's not possible. If you know how, give me a holler! Faith and Other Flat Tires is available in paperback or on Kindle from Amazon (you can also read a sample chapter here), in paperback or on Nook from Barnes and Noble and other fine retailers.