Everyone has to leave home eventually (although I do know one fella who never did, he just outlived his parents!). Perhaps what differs is the manner in which we leave.
What was it like when you left home? Did you launch happily, feeling supported and connected, or did you burn rubber on your way out? In my case, an unfortunate event — or yes, a series of them — catapulted me into the ether and sent me into free-fall.
Perhaps some of you have a story similar to mine — you found yourself loving Jesus, but not the church that introduced you to him, and you had to escape. (more…)
My Unpublished Chapter: Skin in the Game
One of the chapters in my memoir manuscript was pulled before publication because it mentions the “hot topic” of abortion. I was upset that the chapter was cut because it relates an important part of my story — the moment I decided to leave the church of my upbringing.
But eventually I understood that the publisher wanted to give my work its best chance. They knew their readers would be likely to boycott anything that was open to the possibility of abortion, even in the aftermath of sexual assault.
Now that my memoir has been out in the world for almost a year — wearing a sticker that says it won an award from the evangelical flagship, Christianity Today — it’s time to circle back to that missing chapter.
Sojourners, which is a Christian magazine from the progressive side of things (because there are many ways to be Christian), published the chapter as a stand-alone essay in their August issue. It’s titled “Skin in the Game.” Read it here.
A Review at Journey with Jesus
I’ve been a fan of Debie Thomas’ writing since I read this article at the Christian Century last Christmas.
I am thrilled that she reviewed my memoir at Journey with Jesus. She writes: “Everhart’s memoir is brave and compelling — a testament to the power of grace to bring healing out of violence and trauma.”
Review of RUINED at the Christian Century
So happy to share Bromleigh McCleneghan’s very thorough review of my memoir at the Christian Century. I especially appreciate how she puts my experience into a larger cultural context: Though the context of Everhart’s rape and its racial dynamics are unusual, the fact of it is not. Approximately one in five American women will be raped or otherwise sexually assaulted in their lifetime; the risk is even higher within some demographics. This reality is reason enough for clergy to read this book. Read the whole review here.
A Reader Who Has Grappled with My Memoir
I love engaging with my readers! This reader asked me a few questions, which I attempted to answer. Check out her review at Anne E. Phillips.
Review of RUINED at the Englewood Review of Books
So pleased to tell you that Englewood Review of Books reviewed my memoir. What a great first line: What I love most about this memoir is that it is a gift, primarily for her daughters, but by extension to other young women and ultimately Christian culture in general. You can read the whole thing here. Thanks ERB!
Interviewed in Washington Post
Jim Barnes interviewed me for the Washington Post: Loudoun woman’s memoir tells of how a violent crime shook her religious faith.
Review of RUINED at The Banner, magazine of the CRC
“The Banner” is the denominational magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. A review of my memoir is here.
This is what pastor/scholar/author Eugene Peterson said about my book:
This memoir is far more than just a moving narrative by a remarkable person (although it is that).
It is a story of lived theology: everything that has to do with God and the Gospel written in the language of everyday suffering, pain and blessing and love.
Rape and shame, friendship and family find their place on these pages providing witness to a mature lived faith.
Click over to Amazon to read many more kind words, including 130 reviews by readers like you.
You can buy the book at a bookstore or online retailer. An audio version is available.
PS: See the sticker? RUINED was awarded a 2017 Book Award by Christianity Today!
I have an article up at the Washington Post today, in the “Acts of Faith” section. It has a long title: Our culture of purity celebrates the Virgin Mary. As a rape victim, that hurts me.