Saturday, August 16, 2008

Book Blurb: Trespassers Will Be Baptized


Trespassers Will Be Baptized: The Unordained Memoir of a Preacher's Daughter
By Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
(c) 2008
Center Street
288p

Growing up Southern and Baptist in Eastern Kentucky, Elizabeth Hancock's world revolved around Sunday School, foreign missions projects, revival meetings and of course, the Kentucky Wildcats, who "glorified God through their goal-shattering, soul-shattering play." Hancock chronicles her childhood misadventures with sardonic wit, detailing her and her sister Meg's mischievous - if harmless - abuses of power (stealing Guess jeans from the Africa donation box, or hawking backyard swimming pool baptisms during her neighborhood's annual yard sale) and lovingly recalling the wisdom imparted by her long-suffering parents as they ministered to their unruly flock. TRESPASSERS WILL BE BAPTIZED marks the arrival of a talented new voice in a coming of age story that is by turns comical and affecting.
The explanation for my interest in this book is in my profile and masthead blurb. I am eager to compare Hancock's experience of growing up as a Southern Baptist preacher's daughter with my own experience of growing up in an equally restrictive sect and sub-culture in which daily schedules, every activity and nearly every thought is conceived and constrained in the church's womb.

Just by previewing the book and the promo materials at Hachette Book Group and Hancock's own website, especially her blog, I can tell that she moved from this milieu into the wider world--Harvard and Georgetown studies, Miss Massachusetts 1998--with a great deal more grace than I did. I hope to discover how she survived that culture-shock without losing her sense of self. Of all the ten Hachette Books I will be reading and reviewing in the coming weeks, this one has the most personal meaning to me.

1 tell me a story:

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