Lauren Winner told the story of her conversion from Judaism to Christianity in her first memoir, 2002's Girl Meets God. Nearly a decade later, the fervor of the conversion experience has faded, and as Winner struggles to cope with the death of her mother and the demise of a marriage that perhaps never should have happened, the faith that she would have expected to sustain her through these challenges seems to have escaped her as well. In Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Winner chronicles her experience with that particular, unexpected loss--and, as the subtitle implies, how she found her way back.
Still's structure follows its subtitle; it's a series of brief reflections over the course of a year in which she ends her marriage and gratefully learns that her relationship with God is not ending along with it. Rather, it's arrived at the place where the biggest part of it will be spent.
Beginnings and endings are easier to define and to process, but most of life is lived in the middle--and the middle is where we seem most likely to become lost. Winner writes thoughtfully and eloquently about finding herself in the middle and accepting her place there. Still is not prescriptive; Winner is not telling the reader how to address a faith crisis, particularly one that comes at the same time as some other crisis. But her insights may be helpful to those who have reached their own middles. --Florinda Pendley Vasquez, blogger at The 3 R's Blog: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness