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1 Beaverton Religion Western- Christian Biography

Fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science

by

Fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science Cover

ISBN13: 9780307720924
ISBN10: 0307720926
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Lucia Ewing had what looked like an all-American childhood. She lived with her mother, father, sister, and brother in an affluent suburb of Minneapolis, where they enjoyed private schools, sleep-away camps, a country club membership, and skiing vacations. Surrounded by a tight-knit extended family, and doted upon by her parents, Lucia had no doubt she was loved and cared for. But when it came to accidents and illnesses, Lucia’s parents didn't take their kids to the doctor's office--they prayed, and called a Christian Science practitioner. 

Fathermothergod is Lucia Greenhouse's story about growing up in Christian Science, in a house where you could not be sick, because you were perfect; where no medicine, even aspirin, was allowed. As a teenager, her visit to an ophthalmologist created a family crisis. She was a sophomore in college before she had her first annual physical. And in December 1985, when Lucia and her siblings, by then young adults, discovered that their mother was sick, they came face-to-face with the reality that they had few--if any--options to save her. Powerless as they watched their mother’s agonizing suffering, Lucia and her siblings struggled with their own grief, anger, and confusion, facing scrutiny from the doctors to whom their parents finally allowed them to turn, and stinging rebuke from relatives who didn’t share their parents’ religious values. 

In this haunting, beautifully written book, Lucia pulls back the curtain on the Christian Science faith and chronicles its complicated legacy for her family.  At once an essentially American coming-of-age story and a glimpse into the practices of a religion few really understand, Fathermothergod is an unflinching exploration of personal loss and the boundaries of family and faith.  

 

Review:

"One afternoon just before she turns eight, Greenhouse returns home from school to find her older sister, Olivia, curled up asleep on the couch, covered with little red spots. Lucia anxiously asks her mother if Olivia has the chicken pox. Her mother stiffly replies that Olivia is not sick, because Olivia is God's perfect child. In this one moment, her family's deeply seated beliefs in Christian Science become crystal clear to little Lucia, and she wrestles mightily with these teachings in the pages of this often gripping, sometimes melodramatic memoir. Greenhouse's struggles come to a head when her mother falls gravely ill with cancer; in the early stages of her illness, Greenhouse's parents seek the aid of Christian Science healers. As her mother's health deteriorates rapidly, she is moved to a hospital for treatment, but this move is too little, too late. Greenhouse very weakly tries to resolve the tension between her own beliefs and the Christian Science teachings that she never embraced, and she never works out the anger and resentment she has toward her father for what she believes are his misguided and unloving actions toward her mother. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

LUCIA GREENHOUSE, a graduate of the Emma Willard School and Brown University, lives with her husband and four children in Westchester County, New York. This is her first book.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

emdash, December 12, 2011 (view all comments by emdash)
After reading a fair number of losing-my-religion memoirs, I picked up this book with lukewarm expectations. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that, subject matter aside, Greenhouse's book kept me turning pages well into the night. Her narrative begins a tad slowly, skipping through her childhood and adolescence with well-written scenes of her own indoctrination. (Some readers will probably complain that she included too many doctrinal explanations, while others will wish for more. I'm in the latter camp. But I digress.) These scenes gave me a cursory introduction to the basic belief system of Christian Science, as well as an explanation for the logic (however skewed) that Greenhouse and her family will cling to when her mother falls ill. (Which is where the tension jumps and the reader can wave goodbye to an early bedtime.)

What impressed me most is Greenhouse's ability to portray her family members as dynamic, empathetic characters who hold wildly opposite beliefs. She tells a heartbreaking tale where are no clear-cut villains, only good intentions, misunderstandings, and a belief system that is infuriating. Best of all, she never tells readers what to think; she lets us see and feel it from her perspective. Highly recommended
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Sandy Lipovsky, September 11, 2011 (view all comments by Sandy Lipovsky)
I just finished the book (which accompanied me everywhere I went so any free moments could be spent reading) and am pensive. Lucia Greenhouse writes like a tractor-beam--pulling the reader into the book as a standby character. I had known little of the practices of Christian Science and nothing of the dilemmas families face when not all members practice Science. I have thought about how I would have acted in a similar situation and, believe me, I have no answer yet. This is a compelling memoir to read and with a LOT to think about when finished.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307720924
Subtitle:
My Journey Out of Christian Science
Author:
Greenhouse, Lucia
Publisher:
Crown
Subject:
Biography-Religious
Publication Date:
20110809
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.3 x 1.1 in 1.175 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Religious
Featured Titles » Biography
Religion » Christianity » Christian Biographies
Religion » Christianity » Christian Science
Religion » Christianity » Miscellaneous Denominations
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Baseball » General

Fathermothergod: My Journey Out of Christian Science Used Hardcover
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$3.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Crown Publishing Group (NY) - English 9780307720924 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "One afternoon just before she turns eight, Greenhouse returns home from school to find her older sister, Olivia, curled up asleep on the couch, covered with little red spots. Lucia anxiously asks her mother if Olivia has the chicken pox. Her mother stiffly replies that Olivia is not sick, because Olivia is God's perfect child. In this one moment, her family's deeply seated beliefs in Christian Science become crystal clear to little Lucia, and she wrestles mightily with these teachings in the pages of this often gripping, sometimes melodramatic memoir. Greenhouse's struggles come to a head when her mother falls gravely ill with cancer; in the early stages of her illness, Greenhouse's parents seek the aid of Christian Science healers. As her mother's health deteriorates rapidly, she is moved to a hospital for treatment, but this move is too little, too late. Greenhouse very weakly tries to resolve the tension between her own beliefs and the Christian Science teachings that she never embraced, and she never works out the anger and resentment she has toward her father for what she believes are his misguided and unloving actions toward her mother. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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