Blue Windows

Barbara Wilson, Author, Barbara Sjoholm, Author Picador USA $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-15066-2
Blue Windows is a fascinating chronicle of one woman's growing up with what she sees as the endlessly contradictory tenets of Christian Science. For the young Barbara Wilson, Mary Baker Eddy's Scientific Statement of Being was a basic truth of the universe: ""Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones and other material elements.... Man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not likeness."" But outside her home and church, the girl was forced to struggle to make sense of those truths. As a child, she remembers wondering whether or not her ""favorite brown shoes, her ragged teddy bear, and her skates"" really existed, given Christian Science teachings. When Wilson was 10, a lump was discovered in her mother's breast. The usual remedies--fervent prayers, studying Baker Eddy's writings and reading the Bible--didn't work. Not only the painful illness but also the shattering of her mother's mental and spiritual equilibrium, which led eventually to her suicide, were witnessed by the young Wilson. In attempting to come to terms with her family's past, Wilson delves into the history of Christian Science and what she sees as its denial of the human body's reality. She testifies to the numbness and rage she experienced in the face of what she perceived as Christian Science's implacable optimism, and Wilson emerges, in her 40s, as a woman able to acknowledge her grief and sorrow, her love for the things of this world and her preference for ""blue windows"" rather than rose-colored glasses. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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