Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Faith and Other Flat Tires - Andrea Palpant Dilley - A Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review Andrea Palpant Dilley's Faith and Other Flat Tires. The title causes the mind to wander a bit, and I suppose a prospective reader would assume the book was: 
 a- an atheistic view of why Christianity doesn't work 
b- the usual, expected, "I followed Jesus, this horrible event happened, I was mad at God, but now this good event has happened or this person has come into my life and therefore, I've come full circle and love Him more than ever."

Neither option sounds especially appealing to me. The first, because I do follow Jesus, and it does work. The second, because I know that not every follower's story wraps up so neatly with a bow on top. Life is messy and hard and doesn't always resolve in less than 400 pages. 

 I was pleasantly surprised to read this coming-of-age story that did not come full-circle. The author is by no means old, but has written this memoir of her life thus far. Her parents spent time as missionaries in Kenya, and the horrific experiences they witnessed are not lost on Andrea, even as a child. She lives her life, feeling like she does not fit in anywhere... that when she is in Kenya, she doesn't "belong", but when she returns to the States, she doesn't really feel that she belongs, because she has spent so much of her life out of the country. We travel with her from the point of childhood blind faith, through her teenage years and removing the "Jesus fish" from the back of her car, into adulthood, where she realizes that life is not like a Hallmark Channel movie. To expect things to be neat and orderly and sensible removes the humanity from life. Andrea deals with serious doubt, and at the end of the book, she still lacks answers. 

 I enjoyed reading this book, and {like most of her readers, I would imagine} found myself in the pages of the story. I caught glimpses of my life, and related to Andrea on many levels. I am typically not a memoir-reading kind of gal, but truly enjoyed the stories she included. I recommend this book for those seeking and doubting and lacking answers. Will it solve anything for you? Probably not. But, it will remind you that you are not alone.

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