The path from childhood to adulthood is a rocky one. Along the way, we make decisions that can affect the rest of our lives. One of these choices is how to live our lives. If our adult selves are different than the rest of our family/community, do we have to courage to go our own way? Or do we put on a mask to feel included and loved?
Heretic: A Memoir, by Jeanna Kadlec, was published last fall. Raised in an Evangelical Christian family, Kadlec grew up in a world in which the rules were unbreakable. Everything revolved around their faith. Because she was a girl, Kadlec was expected to be quiet, and obedient, and act as a female was supposed to act.
But Jeanna Kadlec was not one to follow the rules. Her memoir is not just her story of finding herself. It is the revelation how of Evangelicalism has seeped into every aspect of American culture, regardless of whether it is wanted or needed. She also talks about how women are perceived and treated, and how those who are queer are seen.
This book is amazing. Kadlec’s journey is raw, emotional, troubling, and hopeful at the same time. The only way to solve a problem is to first identify it. In sharing her tale, she puts a name and a face on an issue that many refuse to see.
There is nothing wrong with religion, there are many benefits to believing in a higher being and coming together to pray to that deity. The difficulty comes when one group decides/believes that they have the right to tell the rest of us what to think.
I admire the author. She chose to be true to herself instead of staying in her marriage and pretending to be heterosexual. Though it was the road less traveled, it was the one that felt right to her. If only we could all have the courage to do the same.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Heretic: A Memoir is available wherever books are sold.