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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Given Up for You’

A memoir of love, belonging, and belief by Erin O. White.

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Erin White was glad she missed the last train back home as she anticipated what could happen next. She’d never slept with a woman or even considered it, but on the night she met Chris at a dinner party, it was all she could think of. What would she tell her therapist? 

For some time, White had been exploring that which her soul seemed to crave, and at her therapist’s urging, she read the four gospels and was “stunned” by the words. She cautiously attended Catholic services and began learning more about God and religion; eventually, she broke up with Chris, who’d been raised in the Church and avoided it as an adult. 

White wanted “to love a woman yet avail myself of the opportunities of straight culture; to break the rules of the Church but still feel myself beloved by it.” But since nobody can have everything both ways, she made her choice. Two kids and a strong marriage later, she sees things in a different light. 

But to get to that point, it took the courage to say, “I loved that crazy Church, I loved those wild ideas about God, and I gave them up because I also wanted you.” 

Erin White offers a three-pronged memoir of love, faith, and motherhood, and that’s a lot to pack into such a small space. So while readers may struggle with an overabundance of story, there’s a lot to come away with. White’s search for faith is universal and easily understood, and the subject of gay Christians (and White’s experiences) are presented in a way that’s calm and thoughtful. 

If you’re willing to (gasp!) skip paragraphs, then Given Up for You may belong on your bookshelf. 

This article appears in the July 2018 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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Terri Schlichenmeyer

Terry Schlichenmeyer is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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