cover image Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir... of Sorts

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir... of Sorts

Ian Morgan Cron. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-8499-4610-3

For good and ill, parents shape their children's lives in several ways. For decades, Episcopal priest Cron (Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale) bore the scars of having grown up with an emotionally distant alcoholic father. His story is heartbreaking and brutal, but simultaneously redemptive and consoling with bright moments of humor. An agent for the CIA, Cron's father was an enigma to his family and lacked the resources, financial and psychological, to take care of them. When he slides deeper into depression and alcoholism, Cron's heroic mother struggles to support the family, leaving Cron in the care of a warm and nurturing nanny. Their relationship is touching, but also serves to highlight the dysfunction in this family. Cron eventually succumbs to alcoholism, too, and spends years denying the problem until a trusted therapist challenges him to face it. The author finds the courage to release the repressed inner pain that he had been self-medicating through booze, and begins a slow healing process. While there are not many overtly religious passages, this story is chock-full of sacredness and hope. Cron is one of only a few contemporary spirituality authors who could articulate these themes as poignantly. (June 2)