Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Book Review: Waiting for the Call from Preacher’s Daughter to Lesbian Mom

So here’s the book review I promised. If I was going to tag Taylor's story like it was a blog these are just some of the tag words I might use: God, faith, Church, lesbian, Christian, adoption, parent mental illness, preacher, father, mother, daughter, partner, marriage, relationship, international. This story covers a lot of ground, so much so, that I think another book is needed.

To give you a quick idea of what this book is about here’s a paragraph from the back of the book:

“Waiting for the Call takes readers from the foothills of the Appalachians-where Jacqueline Taylor was brought up in a strict evangelical household-to contemporary Chicago, where she and her lesbian partner are raising a family. In a voice by turns comic an loving, Taylor recounts the amazing journey that gook her in profoundly different directions from those she or her parents could have ever envisioned.”

One of the reviews I read online called this book conventional. I strongly disagree! I saw nothing conventional about it. Does anyone really realize how rare any autobiography from a Christian lesbian is? Especially one that is this holistic and well written? It’s not just about her relationship with her parents (Mom who struggled with depression, Dad Baptist Preacher) or her children (Her and her partner adopted two) or her coming out, or the church. It’s everything. And it’s holistic nature was appealing.

I found the telling of all the relationships in the book a highlight. In particular the details about how Taylor talks with her parents and children. Some of the stories about her interactions with her children were life giving in themselves to read. Sometimes I find telling the stories of how children need to talk through being adopted or how different their family is or what they are thinking give adults reading those stories a glimpse into how they can re-remember their own childhood.

The last line on the back cover says “Waiting for the Call engagingly demonstrates how one woman bridged the gulf between faith and sexual identity without abandoning her principles.” Taylor's book is one I recommend because it takes some great steps in that direction. I hope for more steps across that bridge from Taylor (more books?) and others.

This is one of the books I plan give to my family when I come out. Not because I am trying to convince them of a point of view but because this book tells a story well that has potential to be an onramp for conversation for us.


Zuzu said...

I'm not sure if a book by a Christian lesbian is totally rare. There are many, many books by lesbians who would say that they were raised as Christian. Many struggled with religious mores as they came to terms with their sexuality - do you think the rare part is how perhaps relatively rare it is not reject the religion once you examine it's treatment of gay people?

just me said...

True, that does seem to be quite rare. I wonder what the other autobiography type books are?