Monday, October 15, 2012

Book Review of Faith and Other Flat Tires by Andrea Palpant Dilley

Faith and Other Flat Tires: Searching for God on the Rough Road of Doubt
By Andrea Palpant Dilley
ISBN 978-0-310-32551-2
Zondervan Publishing
Reviewed by Clint Walker

I picked up Faith and Other Flat Tires hoping to muddle my way through a book that had been sitting on my shelf for a while. The problem was, once I picked up the book I had a hard time putting it down. I ended up reading most of this book over an evening that I had away from work. I am still thinking about the story, and wondering about the "rest of the story" in the life of Andrea Dilley.

Andrea's story is compelling, but to be honest, it is not awfully unique. This book chronicles a quarter-life crisis of faith, and the author's resolution of that crisis. The author's story is one of being raised in the faith, of being confronted with some serious doubts and questions, followed by a drifting from faith and then finally a return to a faith that Ms. Dilley has not just inherited, but made her own. The power of this story, however, is not in its novelty, but in the fact that Andrea's story is similar to many other person's faith story. For those people, Andrea's story will help you understand that you are not alone in your journey.

One of the unique things about this memoir is that Dilley frames the narrative of this part of her life in the narrative of Pilgrim's Progress. In the process, Dilley helps other see in another clear way that the journey toward belief, even for those who are raised in the church, is often a roundabout one.

I also enjoyed the setting of the book. I love Spokane. I have been to Whitworth College. I can picture where Andrea is in the city whenever she talks about it.

The setting provides another unexpected benefit. That benefit is hearing a story from someone who lived in areas close to where I lived. I felt I could see the places she visited. I felt like I could relate to her cadence and her voice as a writer.

All in all a good book. And a fun one to read for someone who struggles with their faith.

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