cover image When We Were on Fire

When We Were on Fire

Addie Zierman. Convergent, $14.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-60142-545-4

Zierman grows up in an average, Bible-studying, Christian family but as a teenager, her zeal for being the perfect, evangelical Christian girl reaches a new level, one that disturbs even her parents. Falling in love with a rigid, similarly zealous, boy named Chris who is bound for mission work doesn’t hurt these faith pursuits, and is in fact the reason behind her newfound obsessions with purity and perfect devotion to Jesus. With its luminous prose, Zierman’s memoir reads like a novel, threaded with imperfect faith, doubt, deep searching, love and friendship and loss and depression. The slice of young adult life Zierman offers has a universal taste. This memoir is reminiscent of some of the best in the genre, including Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God—though Zierman’s is not a story with a happy, evangelical return, and instead one about the rage a young woman might feel about being swindled by evangelical youth culture. She is a writer to watch and this is a book to savor to the very last page. Agent: Janet Kobobel Grant, Books & Such Literary Agency. (Oct.)