Wednesday, August 05, 2020
Book Review: S*x and the City of God by Carolyn Weber
Sex and the City of God: A Memoir of Love and Longing by Carolyn Weber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"The course of true love never did run smooth."
Nothing I can articulate about this book is as witty or well considered as Weber's own words. Her ability to look at life and - whether in the moment or at a later date - consider it in light of what others have written before is awe-inspiring to me. Weber's wide-reaching reading and knowledge and thought and references always pierce me with wonder. To see ideas, to take ideas, to make connections and then to apply them seamlessly into the narrative ... I'm certain was painstaking and challenging work, and yet so beautiful to me, a reader.
A good memoir will cause the reader to consider her own life and choices. Whether similar lives or dissimilar, a conversation begins and a friendship is created as we share our tales together - even if the author never hears our side. We feel when the going gets tough, a massive windstorm and a stormy marriage, no electricity or connection adds to the cutting off. If it weren't a memoir, one would wonder if it wasn't all metaphor - but we feel it in the marrow. We feel the joy of the first kiss, the first mention of TDH's name (in two books!), the frustration of the welcoming neighbors to the honeymoon condo, and the struggles in the wind.
Evocative is an overused book review word, but Weber evokes for us emotion, thought, and memory - sharing hers, we consider our own. She challenges us to know our own lives as Christians - married or singular - with Christ. She made me want to talk more with my teenagers about what it is to love, to marry, to be co-workers in the kingdom, why and how s*x is important at many stages. Connection, remembrance, joy, love.
I have less to say to sum up. I'm thankful that I was given a chance to read this ahead of release in exchange for an honest review. The ideas are Weber's with my own take explained. I rarely accept assigned reading opportunities because I'm bad at doing what someone else tells me to do, but I jumped at this one because I couldn't stop reading her Surprised by Oxford or Holy is the Day ... and I suspected I wouldn't be able to stop reading this either. I wasn't wrong. Check the dates.
There were a few places where I thought the editing could be tighter and where I suspect sections were moved around - with an explanation in a section in pages following the first introduction of the idea, and there were a few places with explanatory asides that I thought unnecessary, a few sentences that took an extra read to get the flow, but this slight (slight!) criticism doesn't detract from my overall edification, enjoyment, or high star rating.
Holding this one for when my teens are nearly out of my home (which will be sooner than I'd like, I think). I've never wanted to read City of God before (intimidating much?), but I think my friend Caro just put Augustine on my TBR.
I received an advanced pdf copy of this book from Intervarsity Press in exchange for an honest review.
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