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When I Spoke in Tongues' Is A Compelling Debut About The Loss Of Faith

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When I Spoke in Tongues: A Story of Faith and Its Loss
By Jessica Wilbanks
(Beacon Press)

Raised a “Holy Roller,” author Jessica Wilbanks drew strength from her family’s exuberant church. But when her parents discovered her flirting with drinking, drugs, and girls, they staged an intervention that drove her from faith and family. Even after renouncing Christianity, however, Wilbanks found herself in college on mushrooms, speaking in tongues. This compelling debut is shaped like a search for a long-lost friend, or an examination of a love affair that left the author forever changed. Wilbanks explores where her path diverged from faith while tracking the history of Pentacostalism from its marginalized role in Western Christianity to its Yorùbá roots and booming Nigerian presence. Loss of belief here is as traumatic as the loss of a loved one, and Wilbanks weaves a fiercely candid account of reconciling with a faith whose tenets seem set in stone. (5/5)  

By Laurie Cedilnik
When I Spoke In Tongues was published November 13, 2018
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018  print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

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