“Sad, honest, hopeful, funny, instructive. . . . the very best of a memoir”*
When we grow up Christian, it is always in a small place. At first, we don’t even know it is a small place. It’s just our place, and it feels like home. We launch out from this small place, and we discover that the Christian way is longer and richer than we ever knew.
Noted theologian Leonard Allen’s story begins at age eight in his father’s bookroom—and with an emerging cluster of questions about the faith he inherited. The search for answers led him on a long journey, including a harrowing desert season, then a season of newness he had not imagined.
You will recognize the characters in this story. You will smile, laugh, and feel some of the grief along the way. You’ll get glimpses into the rich texture of our lives—the power of memory, the struggles with selfhood, the need for forgiveness, the surprises of grace.
C. Leonard Allen is the author of several widely read books, including The Cruciform Church, Distant Voices, and Poured Out. He serves as dean of the College of Bible & Ministry at Lipscomb University, Nashville.
“This moving memoir is two stories in one: a young boy’s emotional journey from an isolated island . . . and also a scholar’s journey to build a bridge from that island to the Christian mainland.”
—John Mark Hicks, author of Meeting God at The Shack and Come to the Table
“I thought I would read a little and ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting—which means this is a great read. . . . serious but entertaining.”
—Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University; author of Hannah’s Child: A Theological Memoir
“A powerful story of a journey toward a faith that builds bridges instead of walls. The voice is so strong and the detail so rich that I was pulled into the place and time—just gorgeous writing.”
—Dana Chamblee Carpenter, author of The Bohemian Trilogy
*“I sat down to read one chapter. But I couldn’t stop. This is sad, honest, hopeful, funny,
instructive—brilliant. It’s the very best of a memoir.”
—Mike Cope, Pepperdine University; author of Megan’s Secrets
"The driving theme of this memoir is Leonard's relentless search for answers to the perplexing theological questions growing out of his childhood experiences. It is all there—the good times and the bad and everything in between. Readers who have grown up in a similar heritage will relate immediately to the struggles of his journey."
—Royce Money, President Emeritus, Abilene Christian University