If you’ve ever been burned by organized religion, have I got a book for you.
In less than two weeks, Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome will hit bookstores. It’s a hilarious memoir of one woman’s experience growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home and living to tell the tale — but not without some scars. It’s funny and heartfelt, the kind of book that will make you want to laugh and cry and hug the author.
I should know; I edited it.
Reba Riley and I went through about six drafts of her book, back and forth for more than a year. That’s some serious commitment on the part of an author. (Note: In this case, she hired me, not her publisher: this was her quarter.)
In my work I have been privileged to work with many different kinds of authors, but Reba Riley is one of my absolute favorites for her plucky humor and utter determination to make this book the best it could be.
All that hard work and determination are paying off. Here are just a couple of the endorsements she’s gotten:
- “If the ‘Pray’ in Eat, Pray, Love had a gutsy, wise, funny little sister who’d never been to India, it would be Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.” (Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love)
- “PTCS is a brilliant, emotional and audacious rampage through religious sensibility, an exploration I recommend without hesitation. Enjoy!” (Wm. Paul Young, author of The Shack)
Although the memoir won’t be releasing from Simon & Schuster until later this month, you have a chance to get a free copy right now, signed by the author and sent to your home (USA addresses only).
All you have to do to be entered to win is to leave a comment below describing one experience, remark, or event that happened to you that makes you a fellow recover-ee (is that a word?) in the Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome community.
It can be funny or serious (or both); just make sure it’s under the recommended character count that we’re using in RNS’s comment software, or the last part of it will be cut off, and that will only compound whatever trauma you have experienced, and we will all be sad for you.
Here’s how it works. I’ll be selecting five of the comments at random, and each of those five winners will receive a free copy of Reba’s book.
One of those winners will also receive a $50 Amazon gift card, and that will not be at random. Reba and I will read the five winning entries and decide which one of them affected us the most. So make us laugh or tug at our heartstrings. Tell us about the Mormon YW leader who said no one would ever want to marry you if you didn’t learn to bake, or the evangelical Sunday School who taught you that Jesus was coming back immediately, perhaps on Tuesday, and that you were going to be “left behind” because of that thing you smoked behind the building. Even though we all of course believed you when you said you didn’t inhale.
What Reba’s book has demonstrated is that there is power and healing in sharing these stories . . . and being able to laugh about them.
So tell yours. (By Monday at midnight EST.)