Searching For Sunday {review and giveaway}

Searching For Sunday {review and giveaway}


This week Rachel Held Evans released a new book called Searching For Sunday. When I first found out that Rachel was writing a book about church, I was a little disappointed in a way that surprised me. I’ve struggled with church in the last few years, beginning to sort through some of the pain, much like many in my generation. But at the end of the day, I was forced to blame my reaction to Rachel’s topic on something far less trendy: a book about church sounded boring.

That may be why my advanced review copy sat on my shelf for longer than I care to admit. I took it with me to conferences and on vacation, but I didn’t open it. Until this week.

I’m sorry I waited so long.

This book is for those like me, who are scared to admit that the thought of a book about church might be boring. This book is for those who have been burnt, or bruised, or simply left out. This book is anything but boring.

As much as this is a book about church, this is a book about doubt. It’s about wondering if everything you’ve believed is true, and wondering what you would do if that was the case. I’ve had these thoughts in the last years, months, and days. If we read, in part, to feel less alone, this book accomplished that goal for me.

“There are other people singing words to hymns they’re not sure they believe today, other people digging out dresses from the backs of their closets today, other people ruining Easter brunch today, other people just showing up today.” 

But although this is a story of doubt, it is also an unashamed story of hope. It is the memoir version of what it looks like to continue moving through liturgy, even when you don’t feel the truth of the words in your bones. Rachel wonders, Rachel doubts, but she can’t shake her love for Jesus, or for the church. Neither can I.

“The elements and the meal are identified in different ways: the body of Christ, broken; the blood of Christ, shed; the Bread of heaven, the cup of salvation, the mystery of faith, the supper of the Lamb. But in every tradition I know, someone, at some point, says, ‘Remember.’”

Within these pages, I felt myself relax. Here, I could be myself in all of my anxiety, my questions, my sin, and my hope. My idealism was as at home in this book as my cynicism. (Which is, joyously enough, how I feel about my church).

I had a similar experience with Lauren Winner’s Still, which I read about once a year. There is something especially gracious about a book that allows you to be at ease inside it. I have a feeling that Rachel’s will become a refuge for me to return to many times.

From the first page, my English major heart delighted in the beauty of Rachel’s well-crafted words. She took her time with this book and it shows. The book is structured around the sacraments, but the structure rests around the words like a shawl, they are at home there, not forced to fit.


Rachel’s reading intertwines with her words, giving me several books to add to my reading list, as well as chance encounters with tried and true friends.

Like me, Rachel has found a home within a more liturgical tradition than the one she was raised in. I couldn't help but be impressed by the gracious way she talked about the churches of her youth. There are no bad guys in this book. 

Like all stories about church, this is a love story, complete with break-ups and references to Taylor Swift. It’s bittersweet, wistful, thankful for the steps along the way (even the hard ones). It’s a book brimming with faith. It’s a book to call you home, even if you’re not sure you belong there.

I’m delighted to be giving away three copies of this book on behalf of the publisher. You can enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway