cover image Women We Buried, Women We Burned: A Memoir

Women We Buried, Women We Burned: A Memoir

Rachel Louise Snyder. Bloomsbury, $28.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-63557-912-3

Journalist Snyder (No Visible Bruises) offers a penetrating memoir on grief and redemption. After her mother died when Snyder was eight years old, her father moved the family from Pennsylvania to Illinois, where he married a woman he met at an evangelical church. Snyder recounts her difficulty adjusting to her new life, highlighting the constant bickering between her, her brother, and their stepsiblings. The oppressive rules of evangelicalism, though, proved to be the hardest adjustment of all: “Cancer took my mother. But religion would take my life,” she writes. Eventually, Snyder’s teenage rebellion against religious strictures got her expelled from school and kicked out of her house. At age 16, she slept on friends’ couches and worked odd jobs while studying for her GED. In college, a study abroad trip sparked a lifelong love of travel, and Snyder became an international journalist, reporting on violence against women. Once she returned to the U.S., she and her father took unsteady steps toward reconciliation. Snyder delivers her inspiring story with lyrical prose and sharp insights, particularly about the fraught father-daughter relationship at its center. It’s an eloquent portrayal of the power of forgiveness. Agent: Susan Ramer, Don Congdon & Assoc. (May)