A River Could Be a Tree.

Author:Schingler, Michelle Anne
Position::Book review

Angela Himsel; A RIVER COULD BE A TREE; Fig Tree Books (Nonfiction: Autobiography & Memoir) 14.99 ISBN: 9781941493243

Byline: Michelle Anne Schingler

A River Could Be a Tree is Angela Himsel's account of growing up in, and growing out of, the Worldwide Church of God -- a Sabbath-observant evangelical sect now mostly associated with its leader's scandals. Hers is a story of dualities: of the appeal of belonging to a rigid religious community, and the feelings of isolation that come with it; of rejecting worldliness and being drawn toward the world; of steeping in notions of the end times and finding new life in Orthodox Judaism.

Himsel's memoir moves through tumultuous periods in a way that is both thoughtful and controlled. The Worldwide Church of God offered her family refuge from a rapidly changing world, but it also demanded that they eschew modern medicine, unclean foods, and makeup, and it expected heavy tithing. Belonging guaranteed eternity, but it was also a hardship. Himsel, though she longed for salvation, couldn't squash her curiosity; by high school graduation, she was ready for something more.

Propelled into college life by a deep inner longing, Himsel...

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