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Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life


Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life Cover



Reading Group Guide

1. A major theme in Girl Meets God is friendship. Who are some of Laurens friends, and what role do they play in her spiritual journey? Do friends play a similarly important role in your own life?

2. Fidelity is a motif in Girl Meets God. How does Lauren respond to her friend Hannahs infidelity? Why is infidelity such a poignant and pointed topic for her?

3. Two different chapters in this book have the title “Conversion Stories.” Why do they have the same title? Do they tell similar or different stories about religious conversion?

4. Laurens book is structured according to the Jewish and Christian calendars-it is organized around liturgical seasons and holidays like Sukkot and Advent. Why is the book structured this way? What effect does it have on you, the reader?

5. Lauren suggests that “ruptures are the most interesting part of any text, that in the ruptures we learn something new.” (p. 8) How is Laurens story marked by ruptures, and what do we learn from them?

6. Upon converting to Christianity, Lauren gives up all things Jewish-she even says that “trading my Hebrew prayer book for an Episcopal Book of Common Prayer felt exactly like filing for divorce.” (p. 9) Is divorce an apt metaphor for Laurens relationship with Judaism? Does she eventually recover some of her Jewish practice?

7. What is the plot of Girl Meets God? Is it a coming-of-age story? A story of a quest? Does it present clear questions at the outset, and, if so, does it offer tidy answers to those questions at the end? When Lauren is a teenager, a woman from her synagogue gives her a poem that instructs “Return with us, return to us, / be always coming home.” (p. 34) Is Girl Meets God a story of homecoming?

8. Lauren says that the “very first thing I liked about Christianity, long before it ever occurred to me to go to church or say the creed or call myself a Christian, was the Incarnation.” (p. 51) What is appealing to Lauren about the Christian story of the Incarnation?

9. Laurens story is one of spiritual change and conversion, or making and remaking her spiritual self. In what ways is the story of reinvention a distinctively American story? Have you experienced an analogous remaking or reinvention of self?

10. Geography and place play a central role in Laurens narrative. To what extent do the landscapes of the American South and New York City shape her experiences?

11. Lauren readily admits to being a bookworm. What role do books and reading play in her spiritual development? How have books been important in your own life?

12. Memoir, as a genre, involves the author presenting a particular self to her audience. To what extent does Lauren suggest she has “arrived” as a Christian? Does she readily admit to spiritual failings, or is she eager to present herself as someone with all the answers?

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Jennifer Short, November 28, 2007 (view all comments by Jennifer Short)
Lauren Winner has written a "Winner" with "Girl Meets God". She was raised Reform Jewish, but since her mother wasn't Jewish, she wasn't considered Jewish. When she converted she did so to Orthodox Judaism and kept all the commandments -- she observed the Sabbath, even kept kosher, but she felt drawn to Christianity. She eventually converted again -- this time she became Episcopalian. This book is a beautiful spiritual memoir where everyone can learn about religion by reading her journey. It's funny, sad, and very informative. You can't help but wonder if she's going to confess her sexual sins to the priest, how she will handle seeing old friends, and how her friends and family react to her conversions. This book was recommended to me by a friend who is getting her doctorate degree in English, and I have enjoyed every book she has recommended. She's possibly even going to use this book as a part of her dissertation. So it has the highest praises of both my friend and me!
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Product Details

Winner, Lauren F.
Shaw Books
Winner, Lauren
Personal Memoirs
General Biography
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.38x4.85x.71 in. .51 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Religious
Religion » Christianity » Christian Living
Religion » Christianity » Inspirational
Religion » Christianity » Messianic Judaism
Religion » Judaism » General

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Product details 320 pages Shaw Books - English 9780877881070 Reviews:
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