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God Spare the Girls: A Novel by [Kelsey McKinney]
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God Spare the Girls: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 288 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


"God Spare the Girls is an incandescent novel. The book is a clear-eyed breathtaking exploration of sisterhood, faith and love and loss. McKinney broke my heart a million times with her beautiful and unflinching exploration of two sisters caught in a repressive world of religion and even more repressive love. I couldn't put it down. I found myself lost in the world of Texas heat and the fires of faith. McKinney's world is both familiar and engrossing, compelling and poignant. God Spare the Girls is a dazzling debut." -- Lyz Lenz, author of Belabored and God Land

"Every family has its secrets. . . . God Spare the Girls is an exploration of individuality, family, religion, community, and how when one family secret is revealed, many more follow." -- Oprah Daily, 33 of the Best Beach Reads to Help You Escape

"God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney is a fascinating look at the moment in a young woman’s life when she starts to forge an identity separate from her family’s." -- Real Simple, The Best New Books to Read in 2021

"Compelling . . . Both a coming-of-age book and an examination of belief, identity, and family, God Spare the Girls is unflinching and entrancing, and a reminder of the dangers of blind faith, but also the power of love." -- Refinery29, 38 Books You’ll Want To Read This Summer

"This coming-of-age debut about sisterhood, faith, community, and Evangelical Christianity is sure to delight." -- The Millions, Most Anticipated of June

"Kelsey McKinney’s debut novel asks a difficult question: Why does God’s love often feel more conditional when it comes to women? . . . With a story about family, womanhood, and the question of goodness, readers will not be able to put God Spare the Girls down." -- Shondaland, The 5 Best Books for June 2021

"A story of sisters, family, faith, power, performance, secrets, and betrayal . . . a gorgeously written exploration of what it means to attempt to love and trust when the foundations upon which we’ve built those words have been torn down." -- Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want and Hold Still

"A heart-filled exploration about faith, family, and loyalty, and what it means to strike your own path . . . Told with such tenderness, humor, and yes, hope, this is a novel for anyone who’s felt broken down over faith and love and who has questioned what they thought they knew about life, which is to say, all of us. A coming of age tale that feels fresh and untold . . .These characters will be on my mind for a long time." -- Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot

"Kelsey McKinney has written a real whopper of a novel with God Spare the Girls, a book that explores the ultimate cost of love within a family and the secrets people keep. I felt deeply touched by these characters as I read; both hopeful for their relationships and also wishing for their success. It is a precious thing to find a novel that allows for both the sweetness and the sour—McKinney writes it all deftly, beautifully, and fearlessly." -- Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things and With Teeth

“Kelsey McKinney has wrought an elegant tale of sisters, yes—but its greatest success is in accommodating a story of Evangelicalism that both speaks to its strengths and all-too-human heartbreaks. A compelling read.”
-- Esmé Weijun Wang, New York Times bestselling author of The Collected Schizophrenias

"I don't know what I was more moved by in God Spare the Girls: the depths and twists of family love, the complexities of faith, or the failures of both faith and love. A devastating and large-hearted novel." -- R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries 

"The highlight of McKinney’s authentic narrative is her treatment of relationships, and Caroline and Abigail’s growing connection as the rest of their world threatens to fall apart is at once engaging, witty, and heartbreaking. A loss of faith gives way to something much stronger." -- Kirkus

"Read it for twists on twists, meditations on faith, and a deeply thoughtful treatment of an evangelical community." -- Glamour, Beach Reads That Are Like Summer in a Book

“This stirring debut about faith, secrets, and familial bonds will keep readers turning the pages.” -- Publishers Weekly

"An astonishingly assured debut that focuses on Caroline and Abigail Nolan, a pair of sisters in the fictional North Texas town of Hope, as they struggle with their evangelical faith and family betrayal." -- Texas Monthly

 "A feminist rewrite of Lot. . . . God Spare the Girls is, in short, delightful." -- Texas Observer

"Bewitching . . . [a] tender but cutting coming-of-age story." -- Elle, The Best New Books to Read in Summer 2021

"The story is fictional, but far too familiar to many who were raised in the church.” -- Relevant Magazine

“The novel’s strength lies in its note-perfect depiction of conservative white Bible Belt church culture, and what happens when that culture’s image of perfection clashes with reality. Kelsey McKinney’s powerful first novel takes on Texas summer heat, church politics and complicated family dynamics.” -- Shelf Awareness

"A compelling and beautifully written tale, a book that captures the hubris and hypocrisy that can come from institutionalized faith while also finding ways to acknowledge the value that such circumstances can bring. Delicately heart wrenching, driven by sad realizations and quiet humor, it’s an unforgettable read. . . . An exceptional piece of fiction, sad and smart and driven by an overarching verisimilitude. What McKinney has created feels like a real place with real people, all while sharing their stories of faith gained or lost or somewhere in-between. Believing matters—but what often matters more is that (or those) in which (or whom) we choose to believe." -- The Maine Edge

“McKinney is a strong and compelling storyteller and has crafted a captivating small town world full of gossip and intrigue. God Spare the Girls beautifully explores the challenges of young womanhood in the context of a religion that has its own very strict ideas about what it means to be a good daughter, sister, and wife. Above all else, God Spare the Girls is a touching and powerful story of a bond between two sisters navigating a world and life they never chose. It is a beautifully rendered spin on classic coming-of-age tales, with the characters navigating intricate layers of relationships with themselves, with each other and with their faith.” -- Associated Press --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

KELSEY McKINNEY is a freelance features writer and cofounder of Defector Media. She previously worked as a staff writer at Vox, Fusion, and Deadspin. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, Cosmopolitan, and New York magazine, among other publications. Raised Evangelical in north Texas, she now lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and dog. God Spare the Girls is her first novel.

--This text refers to the audioCD edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08HM22W9K
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ William Morrow (June 22, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 22, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1822 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 288 ratings

Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5
288 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting take on Baptist Texas
Reviewed in Australia on July 29, 2021
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