In my excitement to read Andrea Lucado’s book, I’m a frequent reader of her father’s, I skipped a key word on the back cover…memoir! In my mind’s eye, I anticipated a logical thread running from beginning to end building to a conclusion …it is, in fact, a meandering, anecdotal recounting of Andrea’s time in Oxford and how it asked her tough questions. Each chapter has a central story to which a question is tied and I related to several of the questions as I am similar in age to Andrea, no Oxford required, life challenges our faith and the clarity of our belief. I enjoyed the “Me too!” moments, laughed at the American meets British culture shocks but, it was a long haul to the end of the book. I am impressed though, as far as first books go, I think Andrea did a great job! I particularly enjoyed Chapter 8’s discussion about secular art in religion, I hope the future holds more books from Andrea with this thought provoking and engaging style! It’s a solid three on the enjoyment scale for me.
A few favourite quotes:
“Even when it looks like it, even when it feels like it, no one is really doing this faith thing alone. No one can do it along. We simply wouldn’t be able to find our way.”
“What helped me that day, more than the details of the lecture, was a man who had gone before, who had asked these same questions and had somehow logically found the answers. And this confidence that lay in someone else’s confidence comforted me greatly.”
“If you get nothing else from this book, please hear this: instant coffee is not coffee. And I would rather drink the hot water by itself, thank you.”
“I learned that I can’t limit God’s presence in the arts, or anywhere for that matter. Stories of sacrifice, death, and life can’t help but reflect Jesus in some way. It’s not up to us to decide where he is and where he is not. If the truth is there, so is he.
From the back cover:
The Questions Would Teach Her More Than the Answers
It wasn’t long after arriving in Oxford for graduate school that twenty-two-year-old Andrea Lucado – preacher’s daughter from Texas – faced not only culture shock, a severe lack of coffee, but also some unexpected hard questions: Who am I? Who is God? Why do I believe what I believe?
“So many nights in Oxford, I felt like the details of my faiths were getting fuzzier. Nights turned restless with the questions and the thoughts. I questioned God’s existence and the doubt, it was getting into my bones….”
In this engaging memoir, Andrea speaks to all of us who wrestle with faith, doubt, and spiritual identity. Join Andrea as she navigates the Thames River, the Oxford Atheist Society, romance in ancient pubs—and a new perspective on who God is. As Andrea learned, sometimes it takes letting go of old ideas to discover lasting truth.