When We Were On Fire

When We Were On Fire by Addie Zierman promises a story of consuming faith, tangled love, and starting over. The first part of the book focuses on Addie's upbringing in an evangelical church, where she was heavily immersed in church culture and life. The second part zeroes in on her disillusionment with the church and her rebellion away from the church, which leads to heavy drinking and nearly cheating on her husband. The final portion is supposed to be about her redemption and starting over with her faith.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a very quick read, 231 pages, but the story moves briskly. It's the type of book you'll want to stay up all night to finish so you can see what happens and which direction her life ends up going. I did grow up in the 90s, but I did not grow up in a Christian home, so her description of her childhood didn't sound that bad to me - in fact, now with hindsight as an adult and Christian, I always wish I'd had an upbringing like hers. So when the next part comes around, where she becomes disillusioned and rebels against that upbringing, I had trouble seeing why her life was so terrible to begin with that she blamed her rebellion on it. It made for compelling reading, but I had trouble identifying with the story, since I didn't grow up in that subculture.

I was looking forward to reading about her redemption and how she found her way back to the faith of her youth, but that was the shortest portion of the book. She never really clearly stated where exactly she is in her faith walk today. I was a bit disappointed in the ending - it felt very open ended and I'm not sure where exactly she stands today, except that she's found some type of faith again. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian memoirs and also because it was thought provoking in that it made me look at how I raise my children in a Christian home a bit differently. Word of warning; there is some bad language in this book.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


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