Home Is Always The Place You Just Left: A Memoir of Restless Longing and Persistent Grace

Home Is Always The Place You Just Left: A Memoir of Restless Longing and Persistent Grace

Betty Smartt Carter
214 pp., $15.95

Betty Smartt Carter (author of I Read it in the Wordless Book) shares the remarkable journey of how she's made sense of her yearnings for love and relationship.

The daughter of a southern Presbyterian minister, Carter dreamed of becoming a missionary. "You'd think, given such a great head start, that I'd have found God early on," writes Carter. "But the journey proved to be long and difficult."

Throughout her 38 years, her longings drive her to cling to one relationship after another, until a frightened friend calls her a stalker. Carter peels back the layers of her soul to examine her darkest motivations.

She discovers that while earthly relationships bring a measure of God's love, only Jesus will satisfy her yearnings. This may seem pat, but Carter goes deeper for answers; she knows that her obsessive desires will return.

Humor leavens some of the memoir's bleaker themes of obsession, compulsion, and depression, and Carter's rich prose transforms ordinary childhood moments into engaging literature. Many readers on similar spiritual journeys will resonate with Carter's disturbing, but ultimately hopeful and redemptive, quest.

Cindy Crosby is a frequent contributor to Publishers Weekly.

Related Elsewhere

Home Is Always the Place You Just Left is available from Christianbook.com and other book retailers.

More information, including an excerpt, is available from the publisher.

Books & Culturereviewed the memoir.

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