Andy Crouch (author of Culture-Making) recently wrote a review of Amy Julia’s book, Penelope Ayers: A Memoir:
The same words [funny, gritty, and strangely hopeful - just what a Christian memoir should be] could apply to the biggest surprise of my reading in 2009, a self-published memoir by Amy Julia Becker, Penelope Ayers. This book might seem to have everything against it. “Self-published” is usually another way of saying “self-indulgent.” The subject, the death of the author’s mother-in-law from cancer, is so common that … every editor has a pile of unusable manuscripts from people trying to capture the experience of accompanying a loved one through illness unto death. Usually they fall into unintentional clichés, sentimentality, and too much detail.
But Penelope Ayers is written with an unerring voice, a keen eye for hard and beautiful truth, and almost no false notes. Especially significant is the way that Amy Julia (whom I met this fall through a mutual friend) manages to weave honest reflections about faith into the story without in any way giving in to Christianese or insider platitudes. This is one book a Christian could give to a non-believing friend and say, “This is what it’s like to believe, from the inside.” We’ll be hearing more from Amy Julia Becker – perhaps, with any luck, in 2010.
To read the article in full, click here.