Blessed Are the Nones: Mixed-Faith Marriage and My Search for Spiritual Community

IVP. Oct. 2020. 248p. ISBN 9780830848270. pap. $16. REL
Reading this debut by Kielsmeier-Cook is like going on a journey. The author initially focuses on her husband’s decision to leave Christianity, but the core of the book is her own experiences with faith, or lack thereof. Kielsmeier-Cook has a background in conservative Protestant sects, including the Mennonites, but she finds herself drawn to Roman Catholic women monastics. This curiosity leads her to explore Saint John’s Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Collegeville, MN. There, and in her own neighborhoods, she discovers mentors who assist with spiritual guidance. The author also finds faith heroes in Dorothy Day, Jane Frances de Chantal, and Élisabeth Leseur, among others. Liturgical celebrations take on special significance and personal anecdotes shed insight into mixed-faith households, as her husband becomes agnostic while Kielsmeier-Cook remains a believer, though not associated with any specific denomination.
VERDICT The recollections and questions here are sure to resonate with couples in similar situations of exploring the depths of different forms of spirituality. As with any good memoir, readers will feel as if they are in conversation with a good friend. Recommended for general readers on faith journeys.
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