SPIRITUALITY & RELIGION

A River Could Be a Tree: A Memoir

Fig Tree. Nov. 2018. 288p. ISBN 9781941493243. $23.95. MEMOIR
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Freelance writer Himsel comes from a long line of conservative evangelical Protestants in southern Indiana who didn't celebrate Christmas or Easter owing to their beliefs in a doomsday apocalyptic Christianity. The fearful restraints of the Worldwide Church of God led her to pursue her eternal salvation academically and to eventual religious studies in Jerusalem. After moving to New York, Himsel found herself casually considering Judaism. This move is paralleled (but not determined) by an unexpected pregnancy with a Jewish lawyer who eventually becomes the author's husband. For Himsel, having the choice to be Jewish rather than belong to the religion assigned to her at birth, is what defines her.
VERDICT An engaging alternative to the traditional salvation memoir.

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