A story of being a caregiver for a mother afflicted by brain cancer.
A story of the daily battle that is anorexia.
A story of falling in love, getting married – and bringing anorexia into the marriage.
A story of the deep desire to have children
A story of missions – of being involved in missions in places like the Mideast where the murder
of Christians is not unknown.
A story of being a PK – a pastor’s kid.
And a story of finding hope in the one place you didn’t expect to find it.
One could write a book, or a series of books, on any one of those things. Emily Wierenga chose to write a book on all of those things. Welcome to Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look.
Atlas Girl is a memoir, yes; at least, that’s probably the genre you’d find it on Amazon or in the bookstore. But it is more than that, too. Brutally honest; occasionally shocking; sometimes so raw you can feel the roughness of it. But all of it real.
It’s the story of a life.
Wierenga has talked about her battles with anorexia in Chasing Siilhouettes. Atlas Girl puts those battles in the context of her life, her family, her husband, and her missions work.
She doesn’t tell her story in chronological order. We may live our lives chronologically or sequentially, one event or one day after another. But it takes an approach like she demonstrates here to knit those chronological events into a cohesive, integrated whole. And this is true for any of us – we don’t make sense of our lives by examining them chronologically.
And Wierenga travels (it’s not called Atlas Girl for no good reason). Across Canada. The United States. Korea. The Congo. Amsterdam. Lebanon. Jordan. Japan. China. Australia. Dominican Republic. Italy. Mexico. Part of her travel has to do with missions. And part of it has to do with a restless spirit that is looking for something.
Memoir, autobiography, meditation, personal journalism. Atlas Girl is all of these things.
And it’s the story of young woman who’s honest enough to tell it.
Image by Dawn Hudson via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.