Carlene Bauer’s early life was filled with Jesus and a fear of his second coming. Her education at religious schools prepared her to choose their interpretation of God’s path but didn’t arm her with any self-confidence or much of a conviction that life was supposed to be a wonderful thing. The majority of this book chronicles Bauer experiences in college, when she decides that while she’s not ready to lose her virginity or try drugs, she IS interested in finding out more of what the world has to offer. So she moves to New York City and starts trying to make a place for herself in a town overflowing with talented and beautiful people.
Much of this book is Carlene’s search for what she really wants. What WILL make her happy? Writing? Partying? A man? New York City? God? Some of her musings really resonated with me as she picked apart her responses and actions — but other times, I felt that she glossed over some really major decisions, which felt out of place with the rest of the narrative. I enjoyed her crisp and descriptive prose — and she’s very self-effacing, so I wasn’t annoyed by her tone; she clearly wants to understand herself and her relationship with God and the universe. She has a beautiful way with words that made her world very real.
In the end, for me, though, I just didn’t catch the vision of it. I felt like the crux of this book, her feelings about God and her decision to be a virgin and when to let that go, were discussed and discussed but never resolved in a concrete way. I ended up feeling sometimes a bit bored and sometimes a bit frustrated by the process. I will say, though, that for others who have searched for God (or had him handed to them as a child), found him again, and then wondered if that was enough — this book would probably feel very familiar and worth picking up.
Rated: High for language (multiple f-words) and sexual content