cover image My Struggle with Faith

My Struggle with Faith

Joseph F. Girzone, . . Doubleday, $19.95 (239pp) ISBN 978-0-385-51712-6

If a spiritual memoir is successful, the author weaves together personal experience and theological discourse into a discussion of faith that stretches the reader beyond his or her own understanding of God. Bestselling author and retired Roman Catholic priest Girzone (Joshua ) accomplishes this task and more in his narrative nonfiction. As a response to the questions readers of his popular Joshua novels have asked—are the author's beliefs the same as Joshua's?—he compiles a beautifully nuanced expression of his faith as a "help to others who are struggling to develop their own understanding of life." He draws on his studies at seminary and his impressive knowledge of science, history, art and theology to ambitiously tackle a variety of topics, from the existence of God and the creation of the universe to the history of the Catholic Church and some of its traditions, like celibacy and confession. Girzone maintains his humility by placing such challenging discussions in the context of genuine soul-searching. Especially poignant are his confessions of doubt, disbelief, confusion and depression with regard to identifying his core beliefs; he establishes a deep connection with the reader by his utter candidness. In his simple, readable prose, Girzone paints a beautiful portrait of faith. (May 30)