Her Beautiful Brain

“A daring and ambitious memoir that bestows unexpected rewards on the reader.” –Seattle Times

“Unflinching, tragic and compassionate.” –Shelf Awareness

I’ve lived with the loss of my mom, and the fear of Alzheimer’s, for a long time now. I understand that I am stuck with this particular fear; yours may be cancer or heart disease. But I also understand its value: which is to continually remind me that I have no idea what the next day or decade might hold. Now is the time for me to do all that I feel called most urgently to do.

I am my mother’s daughter. Like her, I would prefer to keep traveling under my own steam and enjoying the view along the way. Like her, I would rather my brain not get all wrapped up in a big tangle of ropes. But hers did, and mine might too.

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After Ecstasy:
Memoir of an Observant Doubter

When I was thirteen, I was infected by a fervent strain of evangelical faith: not unusual in America, unless your family is happily agnostic, and you live in one of the most “un-churched” cities in the country: Seattle. But I fell, and fell hard. I spoke in tongues. I prayed for the conversion of my friends and family. Turns out I was part of what the local newspapers called a trend: suddenly, there were as many bible-thumping youth groups to choose from in Seattle as there were anti-war marches.

Five years later, when I left Seattle for Wellesley College, I stuffed Christian Me in some inner soul-closet for what turned out to be the next twenty years: until one day when I decided to see what it felt like to go to church. And then I kept going. And eventually became not a re-born-again, evangelical Christian, but an observant doubter: someone who finds meaning in faith, but whose favorite words on Sunday morning are: Great is the mystery.

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