Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Title: fathermothergod:My Journey Out of Christian Science Author: Lucia Greenhouse
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Pub Date: 08/09/2011
Category: NONFICTION - ADULT: Biography & Autobiography
Description from publisher:
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.
I didn’t know much about Christian Science when I started this book except for the fact that they don’t believe in going to doctors that the Lord will heal them however, I did not realize it is the symptoms of an illness or sickness itself that they don’t believe in.
I also don’t understand when they say things like have you tried science when referring to Lucia who wants to get her eyes checked, isn’t medicine science? So, I do not understand the name Christian Science when they don’t use Science like going to the doctor.
This book was a rare and fascinating look into a religion that I had little previous knowledge of and Lucia’s narrative on her family and upbringing alternately makes your heartbreak, makes you angry and makes you shake your head in disbelief that anyone could believe some of the things after going through what they went through in the latter part of the book. I felt so bad for Lucia and her siblings but also even through it all, her parents.
What was amazing is how her parent’s belief in this religion impacted the extended family too and how her parents virtually cut themselves off from any non-believer so no one could see what was really happening. Also Lucia confused feelings of wanting to get help for her mother and wanting to protect her parents must have been so hard I don’t know how she stayed sane through it all.
This was a great read and was very hard to put down, if you like memoirs about different religions or dysfunctional families I highly recommend this book it is a fascinating read.
Full Disclosure: I received this book from netgalley