Riveting. . . . Forthright, compassionate, and expertly crafted--everything readers should want from a memoir.
--KIRKUS REVIEWS, a starred review
Everhart is at her best when dismantling the sexism that surrounds rape. . . a touching and empowering story of healing.
-- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, a starred review
Many levels of excellent writing are skillfully woven into this memoir. It is far more than just a moving narrative by a remarkable person (although it is that). It is a story of lived theology: everything that has to do with God and the Gospel written in the language of everyday suffering, pain and blessing and love. Rape and shame, friendship and family find their place on these pages providing witness to a mature lived faith.
-- EUGENE PETERSON, author of The Message
Ruined is one of those memoirs that sticks to your heart, helps you understand the power of a story, and gives you a framework to understand God when terrible things happen. Honest and beautifully written, Ruth's story will help readers discover the love of God in unexpected ways.
--MARY DeMUTH, author of Worth Living
Mostly I wish this book never needed to be written. But it did, it was, and it's powerful. With heart-wrenching honesty and a refusal to leave the chaos, Ruth Everhart shows us the raw courage necessary to emerge both wounded and healed. Alternating between fury, hurt, fear, and rage, we journey with her to find God and her way back to life.
--NANCY ORTBERG, author of Looking for God and Seeing in the Dark
What makes this narrative worth reading is how Everhart has contextualized her response to the rape--feeling ruined--within patriarchal theology. . . . This memoir isn't about a rape; it's the story of rising from hurt to construct a new cosmology that encompasses personal and systemic evil.
-- ELIZABETH JARRETT ANDREW, author of Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir
Ruth has a wonderful gift with language. Ruined is, in turns, wrenching and funny and earthy, horrific and sublime.
-- DAVID WILLIAMS, author of The Believer's Guide to the Multiverse
Her writing is frank and visceral, lyrical and even humorous . . . While the descriptions of the attack . . . are distressing, Ruth brings you into the room in a way that is powerful without being gratuitous. Her theological reflections are profound. Her wrestling with the racial component of the assault is honest and unselfconscious.
-- MARTHA SPONG, editor of There's a Woman in the Pulpit
Ruth's bravery, resilience, honesty, and intelligence - emotional and otherwise - makes reading Ruined so worth the risk of becoming a witness to her pain.
-- KATHERINE WILLIS PERSHEY, author of Very Married: Field Notes on Love & Fidelity
Starred review. In her second memoir, Presbyterian pastor Everhart (Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land) reflects on being sexually assaulted when she was a college student, the assault’s emotional aftermath, and its theological implications. Raised in an insulated Dutch community and the Christian Reformed Church, Everhart’s worldview was forever changed when two men broke into her apartment and raped her. She asks where God was during the brutality, where she was being punished for her sexual experiences, and how a God who wills everything could will something so terrible to happen. In addition to her theological analysis, Everhart is at her best when dismantling the sexism that surrounds rape. She recounts how she sucked in her stomach when asked to strip because, “that’s how thoroughly [she] had internalized the fact that a woman should make herself attractive to the eyes of a man.” She recalls her anger when the doctor who performed her rape kit referred to her rapist as a “clown.” She looks at why many people treat rape differently from other injuries and reminds readers that rape cannot make women less whole. Everhart also includes examples of how churches can provide support to rape survivors. This is a touching and empowering story of healing. (Publishers Weekly)
For more of Ruth Everhart's writing, or to see her other book, which #SpiritualBookClub read, "Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land," go to www.rutheverhart.com