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Sexless in the City: A Memoir of Reluctant Chastity Paperback – April 15, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Broadway wants what many young Christian women want: a fulfilling partnership with a husband who shares her faith—and with whom she shares a certain zingy chemistry. But the young urban editor has found that real romance is a whole lot more complicated and painful than the courtships in the Harlequin novels she devoured as a teen. In this spicy and funny Gen-X memoir, Broadway details her own rocky romances, giving code names to her many crushes and paramours, including Poster Boy, Aryan Atheist, the Captain, Ad Weasel and Singapore Fling, among others. Youngish evangelical readers will recognize many of their own heartaches in these pages: the struggle to remain chaste when marriage seems distant; the pain of outgrowing a close-knit college Christian fellowship group; the plunge into the isolations of postcollegiate life and work. Although there have been a number of memoirs chronicling young adulthood and the quarterlife crisis, Broadway's account adds a candid faith journey to the usual fare. At times, the bloglike chapterlets mire down in excessive details and characters that don't wind up being important to her story. However, her engaging voice and wit will appeal to a wide readership. (Apr. 15)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

ANNA BROADWAY, an editor and recovering romantiholic, has been writing the popular blog “Sexless in the City” for three years. She lives near San Francisco, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385518390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385518390
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric J. Anderson on May 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a "memoir of reluctant chastity." More than that it is a spiritual journey. It is about a woman trying to find God's purpose in her life and develop a working relationship and peace with Him. One of her major obstacles was life's refusal to conform to the romantic script she had written in her fantasies -- find a suitable Christian knight in shining armor as her soulmate in college, get married, have a brood of kids. As the old Yiddish proverb goes, "We plan, God laughs."

When the perfect man doesn't materialize on schedule, Anna Broadway tries various methods of searching out and piquing interest from the opposite sex, some of them merely ineffective, some disastrous, some embarrassing.

The book is probably easiest to read in the beginning, as she reveals her upbringing and personality, her early romantic experiences or lack of same, her obsession with love and romance and sexuality, her conflict between what she expects from God and what He actually delivers.

I found the middle part of the book a little confusing, with too many characters (identified by aliases the author has given them) drawn with sketchy details. It is long on descriptions of feelings and impressions of events that occur -- as it were -- off the stage, and it is short on full conversations and exposition of scenes that would put a reader in the middle of the action. Another reviewer of Sexless in the City wrote that the author should "show, not tell." This is probably the biggest barrier to getting the point across to the reader. This reticence to fully reveal such scenes might have been done to lessen exposure of other people in her narrative. (?
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Format: Paperback
With a distinct voice, Anna vulnerably divulges the intimate confessions and struggles of a Christian woman not always confident of comfortable in her faith or self. Anna is bold in her integrity to remain abstinent before marriage and similarly bold to be open about it to a public that lost belief in such mythical creatures as 29 year old virgins. But despite this public confession of counter-cultural sexuality, I don't believe this is the true struggle in the book, rather, it is Anna's search for community like she knew as a child in a family of six - surrounded by accountability and support. In an ideal world, the Christian Church is supposed to fill this gap - but Anna admits that the Church often fails to fill this need. Nonetheless she maintains loyalty to Christ, His broken people, and perhaps most shockingly - His high expectations for His people. This is her true and rare triumph.

Three other reading experiences come to mind after finishing Sexless - Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, Anne Lammott in general, and Blue Like Jazz. If anything strikes a chord with you in these three, Sexless is worth exploring for its search for community, vulnerable honesty about one's own failings and faith, and her willingness to admit the imperfections in the Church without giving up her commitment to it altogether.
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Uggggh sorry to be harsh but actually I could not even finish this book. From a stylistic perspective it was just too much! Too many catchy phrases, and descriptive overkill. From a content perspective maybe this is relevant to a 20 something single, but rarely if ever does it really touch on deeper truths of life long singleness.
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Wow, I REALLY loved this book. I must confess I wasn't expecting too much (I wasn't familiar with the author's work, really, and wasn't even sure why I bought it) and was semi-worried that because the book started as a blog, that the writing would be terribly bloggy. You know, that kind of frantic, flashy, often funny but still surfacy type writing that seems to populate so many blogs these days. This was the opposite of that. It IS a funny book, but it's beautifully paced. Not slow, but more deliberate, if that makes sense. Still, engaging and highly rewarding.

But more than the writing, which was an utter delight, the content just kept blowing my mind a little. The author's ability to draw out of her experiences really keen insights into what it looks like to want the gift more than the giver, and how the Lord has faithfully led her through joy and pain to do surgery on her heart to remedy this was just outstanding. I kept reading passages out
loud to my husband, and even though he's in grad school and has a backlog of about 173 things he needs to read right now, he picked up the book after I finished it.

Maybe you wouldn't think that a 38 year old housewife and mother of two who is living in a tiny German village would be as moved a book about "reluctant chastity" as I was, but as I kept reading I ended up sending 5 copies to friends in various parts of the world, both married and single, because I just found the insights and honesty to be that profound. Highly, highly recommended. I can think of few people who wouldn't enjoy and benefit from this wonderful book. Rarely when reading non-fiction have I had that feeling you do when you finish a novel you really love and are kind of heartsick that there's not more of it, but Sexless in the City struck me exactly that way.
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