My take: This memoir left me breathless. I’ve never read a memoir written with such urgency. I kept waiting for the author and his life to slow down … and it doesn’t, really, even after his encounter with the House of Prayer No. 2.

It starts out “Say you have a ‘special child,’ which in the South means one between Down’s and dyslexic.” By the time he is in kindergarten, the teacher sees potential: “Miss Perk says the way other children follow the special child around, that the special child will be something someday, but she doesn’t say what.”

The memoir goes on chronologically to tell what happens to the special child. there aren’t any chapter breaks or headings – just short pauses between memories – which adds to the persistent tone of the work.

I’ve never heard of Mark Richard or his works, but I really enjoyed reading about his life and his spiritual journey. Mostly, it’s remarkable he survived his life. He seems slightly hell-bent on destroying himself, while always asking God for a sign. It reminded me a bit of Anne Lamott and Mary Karr – two other unconventional voices in the spiritual memoir genre.

my source: Festival of Faith and Writing list

my verdict: Worth a read.