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This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession

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In this memoir of faith and faltering, musician Cameron Dezen Hammon, a Jew-ish New Yorker, finds herself searching for love, meaning―a sign. She's led to Coney Island, where during a lightning storm, she is baptized in the murky waters of the Atlantic by a group of ragtag converts. After years of trying to make a name for herself as an artist, she follows her boyfriend an In this memoir of faith and faltering, musician Cameron Dezen Hammon, a Jew-ish New Yorker, finds herself searching for love, meaning―a sign. She's led to Coney Island, where during a lightning storm, she is baptized in the murky waters of the Atlantic by a group of ragtag converts. After years of trying to make a name for herself as an artist, she follows her boyfriend and new God to Houston, Texas, the heart of American evangelical subculture. Her job at a suburban megachurch there has her performing on stage before crowds, awash in lights and smoke, yet grappling with outdated gender expectations―look pretty but not too pretty, young but not too young―and ultimately her identity as both a believer and feminist. This Is My Body weaves her zealous conversion with the search for a more progressive and fluid theology, the endurance of marriage with an unexpected obsession that threatens to upend her carefully constructed life. From speaking in tongues to street preaching, from biblically sanctioned discrimination to sexual assault, she invites readers inside her tender and harrowing journey. Part inspiring spiritual memoir, part incisive cultural critique, her story of finding and losing faith is ultimately one of rebuilding a truer, braver self.


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In this memoir of faith and faltering, musician Cameron Dezen Hammon, a Jew-ish New Yorker, finds herself searching for love, meaning―a sign. She's led to Coney Island, where during a lightning storm, she is baptized in the murky waters of the Atlantic by a group of ragtag converts. After years of trying to make a name for herself as an artist, she follows her boyfriend an In this memoir of faith and faltering, musician Cameron Dezen Hammon, a Jew-ish New Yorker, finds herself searching for love, meaning―a sign. She's led to Coney Island, where during a lightning storm, she is baptized in the murky waters of the Atlantic by a group of ragtag converts. After years of trying to make a name for herself as an artist, she follows her boyfriend and new God to Houston, Texas, the heart of American evangelical subculture. Her job at a suburban megachurch there has her performing on stage before crowds, awash in lights and smoke, yet grappling with outdated gender expectations―look pretty but not too pretty, young but not too young―and ultimately her identity as both a believer and feminist. This Is My Body weaves her zealous conversion with the search for a more progressive and fluid theology, the endurance of marriage with an unexpected obsession that threatens to upend her carefully constructed life. From speaking in tongues to street preaching, from biblically sanctioned discrimination to sexual assault, she invites readers inside her tender and harrowing journey. Part inspiring spiritual memoir, part incisive cultural critique, her story of finding and losing faith is ultimately one of rebuilding a truer, braver self.

30 review for This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cassie (book__gal)

    I loved this memoir because it discusses the three things you’re supposed to never talk about at the dinner table: religion, sex, and politics. This Is My Body is a reckoning of sorts; with faith, marriage, feminism, and one’s belief systems. ⁣ ⁣ It’s an important addition to the literature available on women and their faith. If you have ever felt unsure about your place in your religion you will find affinity in this book. One of the issues many women face, myself included, is how to feel at home I loved this memoir because it discusses the three things you’re supposed to never talk about at the dinner table: religion, sex, and politics. This Is My Body is a reckoning of sorts; with faith, marriage, feminism, and one’s belief systems. ⁣ ⁣ It’s an important addition to the literature available on women and their faith. If you have ever felt unsure about your place in your religion you will find affinity in this book. One of the issues many women face, myself included, is how to feel at home in a religion that can be a source of oppression for gay people, women seeking abortions, or really just women in general; this is a feeling I know well as a lapsed Catholic. How do we reconcile our faith and belief in God when that same faith crosses our moral hard lines? Seeing Cameron dissect some of this on the page was refreshing and comforting. She navigates these hard topics with gracious dexterity and without the contempt for religion that often plagues nonfiction writing on these themes. She is able to recognize how her religion has helped her simultaneously grow and shrink at differing points in her life. ⁣ ⁣ Cameron is not afraid to lay bare her regrets, her longing and loneliness; she examines her interior just as closely as she does the exterior forces in her life. Having the capacity and bravery to do this is something I value when reading memoirs and there’s no shortage of it here. It’s easy and understandable to be scared of putting your obsessions and desires out there for people to judge and consider, but Cameron faces herself squarely in the face on this one, showing us she is a force to be reckoned with. Congrats to my lovely insta friend Cameron on her debut and make sure you go get a copy for yourself next Tuesday, the 22nd. Thanks to Lookout Books for sending this my way ♥️

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jason Allen

    I was lucky to receive an advanced copy of this impressive debut memoir, and I'm so glad to have read it. The author's journey with religion fascinated me (as someone with no religious experience at all), but more surprising, the relationship with her husband, the close look at their connection over many years and the question as to whether they would stay together, that compelled me to read the entire book in one day. I was lucky to receive an advanced copy of this impressive debut memoir, and I'm so glad to have read it. The author's journey with religion fascinated me (as someone with no religious experience at all), but more surprising, the relationship with her husband, the close look at their connection over many years and the question as to whether they would stay together, that compelled me to read the entire book in one day.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hudspeth

    Have you ever been to a really good concert? Had that synchronistic feeling of mind, body, heart, spirit? Music, people, good vibes, and yet emotional tugs and pulls of what is often hard to name? Cameron Dezen Hammon's book is one of those types of concerts. And she names and speaks to a lot of important experiences that hard to name, but she does it in fact name them in smart and graceful prose, through strong narrative, and excellent story-telling. She doesnt shy away from important questions Have you ever been to a really good concert? Had that synchronistic feeling of mind, body, heart, spirit? Music, people, good vibes, and yet emotional tugs and pulls of what is often hard to name? Cameron Dezen Hammon's book is one of those types of concerts. And she names and speaks to a lot of important experiences that hard to name, but she does it in fact name them in smart and graceful prose, through strong narrative, and excellent story-telling. She doesnt shy away from important questions on faith, religion, feminism, misogyny, loneliness, fidelity, infidelity and longing. The prose is brilliant and effective--like your favorite song. I dont want to share too much because i feel the book is an experience in and of itself-- a journey worth going on. Hammon's book spoke a lot to me about my own spiritual journeys and experiences and gave me space to think about them in a deep and thoughtful and graceful way. Such a good read, highly recommend it!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Summer Rice

    This is the first time in a long while that I finished a book in virtually one sitting. This memoir is raw, authentic and strikes a chord with me as someone with an evangelical background. I was enthralled and moved.

  5. 5 out of 5

    CJ Surbaugh

    Luminous and honest and brave. I loved this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christi

    Beautiful, engaging and incredibly vulnerable book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    This very intimate memoir relates the story of an intelligent, talented and passionate young woman whose search for a place in the world leads her to evangelical and charismatic religious groups, some loving and true to the teachings of the gospel, and others who view women as chattel placed on this earth to make sandwiches, clean the kitchen and home, bear children, and stay quiet while men lead the ministry. Dedicating her life to her passion for God and bringing others to her faith, Cameron D This very intimate memoir relates the story of an intelligent, talented and passionate young woman whose search for a place in the world leads her to evangelical and charismatic religious groups, some loving and true to the teachings of the gospel, and others who view women as chattel placed on this earth to make sandwiches, clean the kitchen and home, bear children, and stay quiet while men lead the ministry. Dedicating her life to her passion for God and bringing others to her faith, Cameron Dezen Hammon finds herself not only a secondary citizen, but a body that can be touched without her permission by the most powerful leader of her church. While trying to hold on to her faith, Cameron falls in love with a man she meets at a conference. As a married woman with a child, a faithful Christian who is struggling to hold onto her belief in a God who would allow men to subjugate women and give leaders of the church the power to sexually harass the women who have dedicated their souls and energy to the mission, whether in Bulgaria or Texas, she concludes that she is afflicted with an addiction to love. Struggling to overcome her feelings for “the man she may be in love with,” she joins yet another group, this one dedicated to curing addictions to love, similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. Ultimately, Cameron successfully turns her back on her “man she might love” and pulls her marriage from the brink of disaster through honesty and love. In this “#metoo” era memoir, Cameron’s experience shows us the devasting effects of female subjugation by the church. Not only is a woman’s view of herself diminished, but her very faith in God can be shattered. We can only hope by bravely voicing her experience this book will send a message to the evangelical church leadership and they begin to take action to see women as equals.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lauren DePino

    If I were to choose my life’s central questions, they’d be: what do I believe, and what is true? It’s why I studied philosophy, why I continue to voraciously read and question just about everything I encounter. In THIS IS MY BODY: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession, Cameron gracefully, fearlessly, and respectfully explores the complex mysteries of faith and romantic love and how they intertwine. She gently, lovingly nudges me forward in my own spiritual search. Her prose is honest, lyr If I were to choose my life’s central questions, they’d be: what do I believe, and what is true? It’s why I studied philosophy, why I continue to voraciously read and question just about everything I encounter. In THIS IS MY BODY: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession, Cameron gracefully, fearlessly, and respectfully explores the complex mysteries of faith and romantic love and how they intertwine. She gently, lovingly nudges me forward in my own spiritual search. Her prose is honest, lyrical, and song-like. Here are a few passages I love: . “Falling in love with someone you cannot or do not see, someone invisible, is a lot like falling in love with God.” . “But the words of the songs I sing communicate a certain, unwavering faith, even if I can’t.” . On romantic obsession, hello 20s!: “I turned my willingness to withstand something unfulfilling into a spiritual discipline” and “…how protecting ourselves from failure, romantically and professionally, might keep us safe, but it also keeps us stuck.” . “Between me and the church, this work is about not looking away. It involves speaking and writing about what can and must change inside churches where abuse and inequity flourish. It involves seeking out churches that affirm and celebrate women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Churches willing to be transparent about their doctrines and policies. Willing to stand up for love, justice, and equality, all the time—not just when it’s convenient for them.”

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Johnson

    Those who have spent any time in the evangelical church will find a best friend in Cameron Dezen Hammon's work. Written with fierce compassion and tender criticism, Cameron invites readers to witness her experience in the world of evangelicalism. The book centers around relationships to religion, men and faith in a way that feels new and refreshing. Written in the first person, the book asks big questions while staying deep in storylines that will keep you interested, moved and encouraged. While Those who have spent any time in the evangelical church will find a best friend in Cameron Dezen Hammon's work. Written with fierce compassion and tender criticism, Cameron invites readers to witness her experience in the world of evangelicalism. The book centers around relationships to religion, men and faith in a way that feels new and refreshing. Written in the first person, the book asks big questions while staying deep in storylines that will keep you interested, moved and encouraged. While this book centers around Christian themes, those of us who may not identify with those themes will resonate with the feelings of being outsiders in an in group. The book explores the peculiar feeling of being in a group where there is no grey - while grappling with the black and white and right and wrong. After reading the book in one weekend, I immediately shared it with my husband and friends.I have been waiting for an honest and remarkable memoir like this and recommend to anyone. If you enjoy reading Lacy M. Johnson, Rebecca Solnit or Jia Tolentino, you will want to get your hands on this book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I just finished reading an ARC of Cameron Dezen Hammond’s forthcoming book, “This is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession,” (October 22, 2019). I was captivated and eager to get back to reading when I was away from the book. Cameron circles around and back again in her search for understanding about love, faith, and commitment, all the while leading back to a deeper understanding of herself. The writing is straight forward, direct, and compelling, coming in close to Cameron’s in I just finished reading an ARC of Cameron Dezen Hammond’s forthcoming book, “This is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession,” (October 22, 2019). I was captivated and eager to get back to reading when I was away from the book. Cameron circles around and back again in her search for understanding about love, faith, and commitment, all the while leading back to a deeper understanding of herself. The writing is straight forward, direct, and compelling, coming in close to Cameron’s interior as well as wide to consider the bigger cultural questions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alex Hensley

    This book is brave, vulnerable, and honest and calls us to the deepest parts of ourselves. As en ex-vangelical, woman-raised, spiritually unsure human, I felt seen and understood. Cameron’s writing has put faith (& lack thereof) into terms I’ve never considered. This book is a source of healing, truth, and knowingness. A reminder that I’m not alone.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This book broke my heart in ten thousand ways. Dezen Hammon wields her absolutely beautiful writing in such a way that it brings you into the moment with her and makes you fight your way through it together. An absolute must read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    McKenzie Watson-Fore

    Spirituality, sexuality, evangelical subculture, deconstruction, and feminism: these themes are like my jam, and I was really excited to finally pick up my copy of This Is My Body. I really enjoyed Hammon's non-linear chronologies, using vignettes to craft a picture. I told my husband over dinner that the book felt more like a portrait than a plot, and I really enjoyed and appreciated that. As someone similarly (and also differently) steeped in evangelical subculture, her descriptions of various Spirituality, sexuality, evangelical subculture, deconstruction, and feminism: these themes are like my jam, and I was really excited to finally pick up my copy of This Is My Body. I really enjoyed Hammon's non-linear chronologies, using vignettes to craft a picture. I told my husband over dinner that the book felt more like a portrait than a plot, and I really enjoyed and appreciated that. As someone similarly (and also differently) steeped in evangelical subculture, her descriptions of various churches and their culture landscape really resonated with me. She captures the cringiness of it: the veiled racism, the deeply-seated conservatism, the sexism. In one scene, a young (male) missionary literally tells Hammon to go make them some sandwiches: it feels like it should be a joke, but you know that it's sickeningly not. Currently based in Houston, I found myself playing the mental game of trying to ascertain if I knew which churches she was writing about. [Regarding at least one of the churches she works at for a while, I'm pretty sure I do. And her assessments are dead-on.] Leveraging the non-linear chronologies to her advantage, Hammon writes in present tense but plays with timing the tidbits of self-revelation, often mentioning things she "would learn later" or things she "hadn't realized yet," often about herself or the people directly across from her in the various scenes. This technique adds dynamism, approaching the reader in their moment of reading but also implying a broader temporal backdrop, the possibility of skating through different time-bound realizations with Hammon. Sometimes, however, it feels like she uses this to reveal self-realizations by just dropping them in like dropped quotes, rather than fully inviting the reader into the awkward dawning of the realization itself. This emotional distance was most prominent when she wrote about the distance between her and her husband: she wrote about the distance between them, his habits of distancing, and then would add something like, 'I didn't yet realize how I was similarly culpable...' -- both indicating a later realization but sparing the reader from co-discovering it. I found myself almost wanting more vulnerability from Hammon in these moments. I think the dual stages of not seeing one's own shared guilt BEFORE coming to perceive it is important for the narrative development, but I felt unsatisfied with the way those realizations were delivered. I really appreciated This Is My Body - if anything, it left me wanting more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Sue

    This book came to me as a gift by way of a writer's conference. The gift giver thought I'd find the book interesting, which indeed I did. I read this in 2 sittings. The stories moved quickly and I found myself relating on many levels with the storyline. I gather most women can relate to this author is some way and likely have encountered similar experiences. I don't like to read graphic sexual content, and there is some here and romantic obsession is a heavy theme throughout the book. That said, This book came to me as a gift by way of a writer's conference. The gift giver thought I'd find the book interesting, which indeed I did. I read this in 2 sittings. The stories moved quickly and I found myself relating on many levels with the storyline. I gather most women can relate to this author is some way and likely have encountered similar experiences. I don't like to read graphic sexual content, and there is some here and romantic obsession is a heavy theme throughout the book. That said, what the author went through as a singer, musical pastor, and wife, is a somewhat familiar story. Yes, sexism exists, yes, in organized religion. Bad family relations and divorce cause lifelong issues. I hope the 'handsy' pastor has been expelled from his position and charged appropriately. Swinestein anyone? Life is tough for most of us. Being a woman makes it tougher. What bothered me about the book is the far left lens that she writes from. There are plenty of left wing sexists and sex offenders. As a person of faith, the author should understand human nature and that people are people, and it doesn't matter if you're left or right. The main stream media protects its own (Harvey, Matt, etc). The book is well written and I enjoyed the author's descriptive abilities.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    "With this image comes the dawning awareness that my faith will have to change if it's going to survive. That in order to speak about God, about anything, I have to start by listening." This book is for anyone who has ever been a part of a faith community in which they had to hide a part of themselves. For anyone struggling to reconcile with the world they see around them today. And for anyone who is seeking a more honest and compassionate approach to their faith. There is a growing movement of w "With this image comes the dawning awareness that my faith will have to change if it's going to survive. That in order to speak about God, about anything, I have to start by listening." This book is for anyone who has ever been a part of a faith community in which they had to hide a part of themselves. For anyone struggling to reconcile with the world they see around them today. And for anyone who is seeking a more honest and compassionate approach to their faith. There is a growing movement of women from the Evangelical tradition who are seeking a different way, to affirm the faith and humanity of all people, regardless of sex, gender identity, or mode of worship. For them, for us, Hammond shows that the only clear way is by making one's own path and inviting others to join as equals on this journey of faith. All the stars, all the love, and absolutely all the feels. One of my favorites of 2019 for sure! Thank you to the publisher for providing this book for review. CW: sexual assault, infidelity, misogyny, homophobia

  16. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    While infidelity is the storyline that gets you into Hammon's memoir, it's her relationship to her faith that makes the book a good read. Her account of struggling with her faith in the patriarchal, too-worldly evangelical church is both painful and believable. The behind-the-scenes look into various megachurches was fascinating. (Dry ice and a light show for a funeral?!) While working on her own mental health, Hammon rediscovers her love for her husband and for God and recommits herself to her ma While infidelity is the storyline that gets you into Hammon's memoir, it's her relationship to her faith that makes the book a good read. Her account of struggling with her faith in the patriarchal, too-worldly evangelical church is both painful and believable. The behind-the-scenes look into various megachurches was fascinating. (Dry ice and a light show for a funeral?!) While working on her own mental health, Hammon rediscovers her love for her husband and for God and recommits herself to her marriage. I hope she's found a church (or spiritual) home that makes her feel loved and appreciated, and I hope she will keep writing!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fairley Lloyd

    Cameron Dezen Hammon's debut book covers many different life layers in incredible ways. Hammon manages to balance her tenuous relationship with religion while also respecting the religion; she tackles sexism while also acknowledging some internalized misogyny she has struggled with herself; and she discusses love, sex, family, and the ups and downs of those dynamics. Essentially, this memoir is about relationships - relationships with religion and people - and it shows how complex relationships Cameron Dezen Hammon's debut book covers many different life layers in incredible ways. Hammon manages to balance her tenuous relationship with religion while also respecting the religion; she tackles sexism while also acknowledging some internalized misogyny she has struggled with herself; and she discusses love, sex, family, and the ups and downs of those dynamics. Essentially, this memoir is about relationships - relationships with religion and people - and it shows how complex relationships are. Through it all, Hammon manages to stay honest and authentically herself, something I admired deeply. This is the kind of book that stays with you once you've finished it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This was a very good memoir. Stark self-examination, humility, an interconnected narrative spanning decades - I really enjoyed it. Cameron Dezen Hammon wrote this book from a physical location that’s super familiar to me: the white evangelical bubble in Houston. And usually memoirs that are close to my own lived experience are boring to me - but this one was decidedly not. Hammon writes about faith and marriage and feminism and lust, all with forthrightness and a spiritual openness that feels li This was a very good memoir. Stark self-examination, humility, an interconnected narrative spanning decades - I really enjoyed it. Cameron Dezen Hammon wrote this book from a physical location that’s super familiar to me: the white evangelical bubble in Houston. And usually memoirs that are close to my own lived experience are boring to me - but this one was decidedly not. Hammon writes about faith and marriage and feminism and lust, all with forthrightness and a spiritual openness that feels like a welcome. She spoke on an author panel at the Texas Book Festival that I got to see this past year, and this book completely lived up to the hype. Highly recommend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    This is a beautifully written memoir. Cameron Dezen Hammon’s vulnerability is, at times, a shock to the system, but also refreshing and beautiful and touching. The way she weaves together the themes of religion and romance is novel (and what a great title to tie them together). As a person of faith who has had similar experiences inside the church, and has also been through a journey of falling out of love with the institution, deconstructing my own faith and starting to put it back together outs This is a beautifully written memoir. Cameron Dezen Hammon’s vulnerability is, at times, a shock to the system, but also refreshing and beautiful and touching. The way she weaves together the themes of religion and romance is novel (and what a great title to tie them together). As a person of faith who has had similar experiences inside the church, and has also been through a journey of falling out of love with the institution, deconstructing my own faith and starting to put it back together outside of the system of evangelical Christianity, so much of what Cameron says rings true with me and echoes my own journey. That said, it’s a beautiful read no matter what.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Hammon’s work is a stunning reflection on what it means to be a female body in evangelical Christian circles of leadership and ministry. She recounts her conversion to Christianity and and its impact with honesty and frankness. I sped through reading it, relating to her experiences of sexism in evangelical circles and finding her writing gorgeous and meaningful. This is a must-read for those interested in feminism and faith.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    I really enjoyed the heart of this book, yet I think I've read so many similar memoirs lately that this one fell just a bit flat. It was disappointing only because of my expectation that this would grapple with embodiment and evangelical deconstruction slightly differently, less familiar and more in-depth. Had I approached the book a bit more open-minded, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it immensely because it really is a thoughtful, complex book that's beautifully written. I really enjoyed the heart of this book, yet I think I've read so many similar memoirs lately that this one fell just a bit flat. It was disappointing only because of my expectation that this would grapple with embodiment and evangelical deconstruction slightly differently, less familiar and more in-depth. Had I approached the book a bit more open-minded, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it immensely because it really is a thoughtful, complex book that's beautifully written.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca H.

    I love a good memoir about faith, organized religion, and grappling with belief, or the lack of it. In this example, Cameron Dezen Hammon converts to Christianity as a young woman and falls in love with her new faith. She moves to Houston to marry and take up a life as a music minister. Soon, however, problems crop up. Many of the people she works with do not believe that women should be church leaders, and her male colleagues do not easily accept her authority. Her marriage begins to flounder, I love a good memoir about faith, organized religion, and grappling with belief, or the lack of it. In this example, Cameron Dezen Hammon converts to Christianity as a young woman and falls in love with her new faith. She moves to Houston to marry and take up a life as a music minister. Soon, however, problems crop up. Many of the people she works with do not believe that women should be church leaders, and her male colleagues do not easily accept her authority. Her marriage begins to flounder, and she becomes obsessed with another man. Hammon’s book is a beautifully written account of how difficult it is to be an ambitious woman and have a career in the church. It’s a powerful story of struggling to keep her faith alive, keep her marriage on solid ground, and stay true to her ideals and to herself. https://bookriot.com/2019/12/26/indie...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Excellent memoir. It kept me turning the pages wanting to know what happened next. I loved the way the author added perspective or intrigue through a retrospective voice. She's tackled something quite difficult--how religion had failed her, how her involvement as a worship leader lead to subtle but real oppression/abuse, and her own wrong turning to the fascination of a digital, near physical, relationship. Done without preaching or sentimentalizing or mean accusation, but real and poignant. I'm Excellent memoir. It kept me turning the pages wanting to know what happened next. I loved the way the author added perspective or intrigue through a retrospective voice. She's tackled something quite difficult--how religion had failed her, how her involvement as a worship leader lead to subtle but real oppression/abuse, and her own wrong turning to the fascination of a digital, near physical, relationship. Done without preaching or sentimentalizing or mean accusation, but real and poignant. I'm glad for its peaceful ending--not many real life tales have that resolution.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin Khar

    In her gorgeous debut, Cameron Dezen Hammon weaves together an engaging narrative of searching for love and God, and ultimately her voice. And she does so with breathtaking lyrical prose and a critical eye that she turns on herself as well as the patriarchal institutions that surround her. Her self-awareness makes her experiences resonate. This is what it means to reflect the experience of being a human. I devoured this book and cannot wait to see what she does next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ruthann

    Somewhat emotional to read her journey to and away from faith and back to faith again. Her wrestling is honestly portrayed. It is Eye- opening to humanity’s spiritual struggles- you never know what people are dealing with in the midst of looking “normal” on the exterior. Her interactions with Southern Baptist denominations are shocking and very realistic and also make me very sad. Makes you wonder if some denominations do more harm than good.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Merry

    I will admit I am definitely a sucker for a good memoir, especially ones with faith/religious elements, but I couldn't put this down. This Is My Body will easily be one of my favorite books I read this year. Cameron's experiences as a woman in Evangelical circles especially hit SO close to home for me, but there's also so more than that. I'm half awake since I read this instead of sleeping and am definitely not doing this book justice, but it's just so good. I will admit I am definitely a sucker for a good memoir, especially ones with faith/religious elements, but I couldn't put this down. This Is My Body will easily be one of my favorite books I read this year. Cameron's experiences as a woman in Evangelical circles especially hit SO close to home for me, but there's also so more than that. I'm half awake since I read this instead of sleeping and am definitely not doing this book justice, but it's just so good.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christie

    This author offers a frank and honest look into churches as well as her own life and experiences both inside of them and outside. Having experienced and left churches somewhat similar to the ones this author worked in/for, where some level of sexism and hypocricy are surprisingly commonplace, I thought her insight was spot-on, and felt myself easily relating to her skepticism and doubts. This memoir was easy to read and follow despite skipping around sometimes.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Shields Ebersole

    Beautiful, honest, unpredictable exploration of faith and of marriage. I appreciated the perspectives of woman / musician / pastor in Southern evangelicalism -- there is a lot to navigate there. I also appreciated that this wasn't a typical "I used to be ___, but now I am ____ and everything makes sense and I'm right." Much more a story of the doubt and questions that wax and wane throughout the phases of our lives. Beautiful, honest, unpredictable exploration of faith and of marriage. I appreciated the perspectives of woman / musician / pastor in Southern evangelicalism -- there is a lot to navigate there. I also appreciated that this wasn't a typical "I used to be ___, but now I am ____ and everything makes sense and I'm right." Much more a story of the doubt and questions that wax and wane throughout the phases of our lives.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gaye Kick

    I loved this book. It's an honest look at the ridiculously high expectations put on people who work in local church ministry. I identified with the author immediately; a music minister, singing on stage for the funeral of a teenager while at the same time feeling like a fraud as she questions her faith, her marriage, and the biblically sanctioned discrimination of women in the church. I couldn't put the book down. I loved this book. It's an honest look at the ridiculously high expectations put on people who work in local church ministry. I identified with the author immediately; a music minister, singing on stage for the funeral of a teenager while at the same time feeling like a fraud as she questions her faith, her marriage, and the biblically sanctioned discrimination of women in the church. I couldn't put the book down.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    This book is exactly what I want from a "spiritual journey" read. I have had friends suggest other books under this umbrella and they never affected me, because the author wasn't truly honest about their struggles and failures. It is in the space of being vulnerability that someone can see themselves and I am grateful to Dezen Hammon for doing just that in This Is My Body. This is a brave and courageous book. This book is exactly what I want from a "spiritual journey" read. I have had friends suggest other books under this umbrella and they never affected me, because the author wasn't truly honest about their struggles and failures. It is in the space of being vulnerability that someone can see themselves and I am grateful to Dezen Hammon for doing just that in This Is My Body. This is a brave and courageous book.

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