Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School - Raynor

*This book was an advanced reading copy sent to me, free of charge, for my honest review and opinion.  All comments in this review are the honest opinion of the blogger

I'm late, I'm late... - Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland

This post was supposed to be up at the beginning of the month and sadly, I haven't even finished the book yet. But, I wanted to get it up as quickly as possible as this book is truly wonderful!

They always say that if you want to make God laugh, to tell him your plans! Andrea Raynor attended Denison University with every intention of becoming a doctor, until she discovered that science wasn't quite her thing. And God laughed.  

She pieced together a liberal arts major by taking a handful of religion classes to finish her degree, and tried to figure out what to do next with her life. No one was more surprised when this experience seemed to be calling her to divinity school, and not just any divinity school but Harvard Divinity School! Her faithful upbringing made it clear that when God calls, you listen, and so off she went...with no goal of becoming a "woman of the cloth", but trying to determine her place in the world.

Her memoir, Incognito: Lost and Found at Harvard Divinity School, is her story from her family's drive from Ohio to Cambridge to drop her off along the path to her discovery of her life's calling. This book is beautifully written from page one, while being funny and entertaining too. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not one to read religious books...particularly ones that try to drag you into believing something that you may or may not believe. I don't like religion pushed down my throat!   Raynor's book, like Harvard Divinity School in the 1980's, allows you to gather information and enjoy the journey, without pressure. Raynor's writing sweeps you into her struggle to find her way and leaves you laughing and cheering her on along. 

(Again, I have not yet finished, but I am better than half way through and have not once felt overwhelmed by the religion in this entertaining memoir)

Additionally, Raynor's reminiscences actually brought back my days spent in the area (I did not attend Harvard, but Lesley University...down the street just a bit) sitting at the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square, checking out the incredibly diverse group of inhabitants, and walking through Harvard yard to class. An enjoyable walk down memory lane!

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.