A River Could Be a Tree (Kobo eBook)
- A River Could Be a Tree: A Memoir is the debut publication from Angela Himsel, an award-winning writer based in New York City. Himsel's poise, intelligence, and unique life experience make her a compelling speaker for audiences of all sizes.
- How does a woman who grew up in rural Indiana as a fundamentalist Christian end up a practicing Jew in New York? Angela Himsel is the seventh of eleven children from a family that belonged to an evangelical branch of Christianity—the Worldwide Church of God. Strict adherence to the church's tenets, which forbade make-up, medicine, and other demonic influences, was the only way for her to receive the Holy Spirit and live forever in God's Kingdom. In search of salvation, Angela decided at nineteen to study at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. But instead of strengthening her faith, she was introduced to a thrilling new world. And she began to think that maybe everything she had been taught was wrong. Both exciting and agonizing, those three words—maybe I'm wrong—set her on a completely different path. Ultimately, the connection to God she so relentlessly pursued was found in the most unexpected place: a mikvah on Manhattan's Upper West Side. This devout Christian Midwesterner found her own form of salvation—as a practicing Jewish woman. Himsel's journey is traced against the backdrop of the major events of the 1970s and 80s and is told with warmth, humor, and a multitude of religious and philosophical insights. A River Could Be a Tree: A Memoir is a fascinating story of struggle, doubt, and finally, personal fulfillment.
- For those who loved Tara Westover's Educated and Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle. A River Could Be a Tree would especially appeal to readers of page-turning, elegant memoirs, particularly those that provide a behind-the-scenes look at unconventional childhoods, fringe religions and/or lifestyle choices that are far removed from the mainstream.
- The book also includes a beautifully-written Foreword from Shulem Deen, author of the award-winningAll Who Go Do Not Return.
What a joyful read! While tackling very real topics, such as social expectations of people's bodies, cultural identity, and challenging family dynamics, "Chunky" uses a delightful play-by-play sports casting style throughout the book that truly engages the reader in Yehudi Mercado's journey. Yehudi and his imaginary mascot Chunky take the reader through the meandering explorations of growing up, from the things you choose to explore yourself to the things others force you to explore, but recognizing your truth nonetheless.
(Graphic Novel, Ages 10+) - reviewed by Isabel