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More Than Conquerors: A Memoir of Lost Arguments Hardcover – February 11, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Christianity has saturated every corner of Megan Hustad’s life. From her missionary childhood abroad to her life as an adult in New York dodging questions about her religious past, Hustad explores the legacy of her family’s particular brand of faith in this thoughtful, subtly shaded memoir. Drawing on documents and discussions, she takes a kaleidoscopic view of her family’s life as missionaries, which took them from Minnesota to a small island off Venezuela, then to Holland and back. Hustad challenges the easy dismissal of evangelicals as Neanderthals, providing a well-rounded look at the complex messages that informed her family’s work. At the same time, she spotlights the limitations this religiously focused life imposed on her family, exploring their conflicts, their uneasy compromises, and the roots of their lingering resentment toward one another. Her recollections, interspersed with short vignettes, derive much of their power from Hustad’s unerring ability to pinpoint emotion clearly and concisely. The result is a critique that is not ham-fistedly critical but refreshingly open to different interpretations of what it means to live with faith. --Bridget Thoreson

Review

Where does the family end and the self begin? When does a religious upbringing end and a life of considered belief begin? Few of us get to the bottom of those questions in our own lives, but Megan Hustad has sought to answer them with clarity and bravery. (Paul Elie, author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own)

Sensitive, intelligent, and deeply empathetic, More Than Conquerors is the story of a family that is both unusual and utterly relatable. As Megan Hustad tells us early on, this is not a book about abuse or neglect but about four very different and yet well-intentioned people who struggle to do the best they can by one another without renouncing their own beliefs or their own dreams. Hustad narrates her parents' lives with such maturity and compassion that she gives the lie to the idea of the memoir as a self-obsessed genre. (Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.)

Megan Hustad examines the world of international Christian evangelism as only an insider can. With fierce wit and relentless scrutiny, she reveals all the good intentions and bitter disappointments of a problematic movement--all the hope, naïveté, and ingenuity required of her family as they spread the good news abroad. What endures is the tremendous love the Hustads share for one aother. Somewhere between skepticism and faith is one American family's commitment to one another. (Domenica Ruta, author of With or Without You)

An eloquent exploration of one family's realization that they're unreconciled to the world as is, but that trying to change the world might break them. More Than Conquerors is a fully rounded portrayal of belief and doubt in contemporary America. (Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land)

You'll find no better correspondent for an account of the culture wars here and abroad than the deeply embedded Megan Hustad. Equal parts travelogue, family memoir, coming-of-age story, and philosophical reflection, More Than Conquerors tells her story well. It is the story of a little girl who grows up on the frontlines of the missionary movement to become a cosmopolitan New York book editor--one who can't quite stop pleading her case with God and with that self-same little girl who lives on in her head. (Dalton Conley, author of Parentology)

Radically compassionate, extraordinarily eloquent, deeply insightful, and utterly necessary in shining a light on a relatively unexplored corner of the American religious psyche, More Than Conquerors goes beyond memoir to be a work of ethnographic history written with a novelist's eye for details and a poet's ear for gorgeous turns of phrase. Megan Hustad writes with such easy command that it feels as if she has been explaining America to itself and the world for years, but the bracing vitality in her voice sounds like nothing we've ever heard before. (Matthew Thomas, author of We Are Not Ourselves)

In More Than Conquerors, Megan Hustad distills from her unique and various upbringing a deceptively vital story of family and faith in transit. Searching, elegant, and rendered with striking, witty melancholy, her memoir of the displacements of missionary life is a balm to the essential problems of home, forgiveness, longing, and belonging. (Michelle Orange, author of This Is Running For Your Life)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374298831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374298838
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sushi on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
what a beautifully written memoir detailing the angst of being raised in the confusing world of evangelical christianity. she calls spades spades, but never leaves you thinking she disrespects her family and others for their views. i highly recommend this book to anyone who comes from this world, or anyone seeking insight into this world view.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Lind on March 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chose to order this book because I know the author and her family and actually shared in some of the experiences recounted. Megan is an excellent writer -- honest to the point of painful, funny, remarkably insightful. If you love to explore varied cultures -- physical, spiritual or social cultures -- you will find this book useful. Megan's detailed descriptions of 1970s and 80s American evangelicalism, her growing skepticism about all she grew up being taught, the deep hurts her family has experienced because of (or in spite of?) commitment to those beliefs, and her cautious journey back to faith, are instructive for all of us. Plus, it's fun to read about the Caribbean, Europe, Minneapolis and New York city.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an incredibly beautiful portrait of Hustad's coming-of-age on the foreign mission field, and the fallout that resulted for her family. Hustad offers no easy answers or caricatures, only poignant observations of her parents, her sister, and herself. The growing questions she has about their faith as a teenager are especially resonate. In the hands of a lesser writer, the subject matter might be stale or treated with bitterness, but Hustad's lyrical prose is peppered with tender renderings of moments both hilarious and heartbreaking. She makes immediate, nimble connections that will leave an indelible mark on both your brain and heart.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a memoir it is honest and evocative of the time of coming of age. It is interesting. I wish the author had put a finish to an ongoing journey to personal values
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