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Girl Meets God: A Memoir Paperback – December 30, 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A passionate and thoroughly engaging account of a continuing spiritual journey within two profoundly different faiths.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A charming, humorous, and sometimes abrasive recollection of a religious coming-of-age . . . a compelling journey from Judaism to Christianity.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A book to savor . . . Winner is an all-too-human believer, and the rest of us can see our own struggles, theological and otherwise, in hers.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

From the Inside Flap

The child of a Jewish father and a lapsed Southern Baptist mother, Lauren F. Winner chose to become an Orthodox Jew. But even as she was observing Sabbath rituals and studying Jewish law, Lauren was increasingly drawn to Christianity. Courageously leaving what she loved, she eventually converted. In Girl Meets God, this appealing woman takes us through a year in her Christian life as she attempts to reconcile both sides of her religious identity.

Here readers will find a new literary voice: a spiritual seeker who is both an unconventional thinker and a devoted Christian. The twists and turns of Winner?s journey make her the perfect guide to exploring true faith in today?s complicated world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812970802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812970807
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #702,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading Ms. Winner's book, GIRL MEETS GOD, I felt a great sense of kinship. I, like Ms. Winner, was an Orthodox Jew. In fact I was a convert to the religion for many years (longer than the author) and I attended a Jewish seminary to boot (a yeshiva). I identify with her experience with Orthodox Judaism. It is a beautiful religion with a lot of spirituality and wisdom. But for me something was missing. After years I realized that God, after all the memorizations of laws and prayers, was every distant (the religion has an almost Gnostic side to it where God can be reached after certain steps are met). I felt a call to find a closer bond with Him. My long search within Judaism led me to Christianity. Another issue I had with Orthodox Judaism, which I saw in GIRL MEETS GOD, was that I did not belong. Sure all the books say I do. In fact a convert is supposed to be respected equal. But the people sadly treated me as a curiosity. Though I wanted to be married no match maker would set me up because I was not born Jewish. Their excuses ranged from not having memorized the whole Mishnah (a book of oral laws and traditions), not wearing my fedora 24/7, that I spoke to my non-Jewish family, that I some times wore jeans, that I have watched movies and TV, etc.

So while reading Winner's book, I found myself saying, "Me too!" Though I do not agree with some of her ideas, I still think we are on the same page. I can identify with her feelings for being seduced by Christ in the littlest of things like dreams, art, comments those closest to me have made. All in all I think it is a good book. I do not think, like others, that she is using her former Orthodox Jewish status to sell the book. It is an honest statement of her travels through life. Yes she is young. So what!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Girl Meets God is difficult to categorize because it is several books in one. It is a personal memoir, a devotional book, a study of the sad tension between Judaism and Christianity, a commentary on Scripture, a reflection on sacrament and liturgy, a look at the often slow process of conversion, and a celebration of reading (the author being a confirmed bookaholic).
An unlikely book to pick up-you're likely to find it wrongly placed in the Teen section of your bookstore-yet hard to put down. Winner's first effort (a second, Mudhouse Sabbath, is about Jewish traditions) offers brilliant spiritual insight throughout. A sign of a good book is when you keep thinking about it after you put it down. If the adage that readers make good writers is true, it applies here. Winner is a gifted wordsmith and wise beyond her youth. The pace is happily fragmented, not always chronological, spiritual, and down-to-earth at the same time.
Winner is a free-thinker, so her writing departs from the typical style of devotional books. Her story reinforces the truism that believers are works-in-progress, and God's steady inward grace is on display as she shares her faults, struggles, and lessons learned on her journey. "My life is like a disciple's nap in Gethsemene." She lives with a distinctly Hebraic-tinged grace: "I hadn't given up the shape in which I saw the world, or the words I knew for God, and those shapes and words were mostly Jewish."
The daughter of a Jewish father and a Christian mother, and raised Jewish, Winner learned that she had to formally convert to Judaism, which she did...but gradually she is drawn to Jesus and another conversion.
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Format: Paperback
Lauren Winner strikes me as the kind of person who could be the ultimate dinner guest. She's young and energetic, interested and interesting, together and a mess, mature and girlish, saint and sinner. For such a young lady she is incredibly well read and knows all kinds of things about all kinds of topics. If her writing style is any indication she has an abundance of charm, and she is opinionated enough to be provocative and self-effacing enough to be humble.
This book is her tale of walking into Orthodox Judaism, out of it to Christianity, and her attempts to synthesize some elements of her Jewish background with her newfound faith in Christ.
The story is valuable to Christians simply for the insight it gives into Judaism. Lauren was a convert to Judaism, she wasn't born in an orthodox Jewish household. Thus, she became an orthodox Jew by conviction, and through much study. She didn't merely adopt the ways of the Jewish faith in an unthinking manner, she studied it in depth and adopted it throughout the process of a long intellectual and spiritual struggle.
A similar thing happened with her conversion to Christ. Through a period of study and a series of events she felt Christ calling her. As, little by little, she came to believe that Christ was real and that He had truly come in the flesh, she found herself irresistably drawn to Christ.
None of us can ever escape our own biases when reading something and I can't escape mine in reading this account. Lauren came into the branch of Christianity known as the Episcopal Church. As one who is from the Reformed tradition, I would wish that in her journey to Christianity she had continued all the way to Geneva, and not stopped in London. I recoil at her use of icons in worship.
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