searching for sunday - review and giveaway

It is release day for Rachel Held Evans's new book Searching for Sunday, and to celebrate I stayed in bed this morning finishing it.  It's absolutely her best work yet.  

This is a book about learning to pay attention to the manifold ways in which God is making all things new.  The prose is careful and lovely.  Structured around the traditional seven sacraments of baptism, confession, holy orders, communion, confirmation, anointing of the sick, and marriage, the ideas are well-researched without being academic, and when Rachel starts telling stories, the writing shimmers with life.

Rachel is a friend, but I'm not afraid to criticize her work (as I did here; and then criticized her critics here -- I aim to please exactly no one). But with this book, I have nothing to critique.  It's funny and touching and it absolutely pulses with love.

You know how teenagers fight with their parents, roll their eyes, grow cynical and disengaged, shut down, yell "you just don't get it!"?  And then a few years later, they grow into an appreciation for their parents; they stop rolling their eyes, they admit that they might not always agree, but they realize how much (life!) their parents gave them?

This book is a love letter to the church that birthed her, the churches that have helped her grow up, the churches she's fought with, been wounded by, yelled at.  It's a book about relinquishing cynicism and self-protectiveness, and loving vulnerably a church that has hurt, will hurt again, but also gives life, and life abundantly. It's hopeful, honest, vulnerable, affectionate, funny. It's a celebration of ecumenism, of the body of Christ.

The publisher gave me two copies, and I wasn't planning on doing this, but what the heck.  It was so good that I want to share. I feel like I'll be handing you a bit of my own story, too.

Enter to win. The giveaway will stay open until April 20, 2015. 
{The winner is Brad N Brandy Milton!  Congrats.}